Blue Zones Project shifts community well-being across Hawai‘i
Seven communities statewide are now certified Blue Zones communities
HONOLULU – May 10, 2022 – Hawai‘i Medical Service Association (HMSA); Sharecare, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHCR); and Blue Zones, LLC announced seven communities across Hawai‘i have been named certified Blue Zones Communities. Becoming a certified Blue Zones Community is a rigorous process that takes three to five years to complete and signifies a tipping point toward long-term well-being change. Watch this video to learn about Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i’s positive impact and how the program is improving health and well-being across Hawai‘i.
Brought to Hawai‘i through an innovative sponsorship by HMSA, Blue Zones Project is a community-led, well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to lifestyle, environment, policy, and social networks.
Since 2015, Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i has impacted more than 738,000 residents, representing 50% of Hawai‘i’s population, through the certification of Blue Zones Communities in North Hawai‘i, East Hawai‘i, West Hawai‘i, Central Maui, Kapolei-‘Ewa, Mānoa-Makiki-McCully-Mō‘ili‘ili, and Wahiawā.
Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i has also helped over 1,000 businesses implement well-being best practices, such as walking groups, healthier food options and engagement activities to improve productivity, satisfaction, and staff retention. Statewide, Blue Zones Project participating employers, such as The Queen’s Medical Center – West O‘ahu, Hawaiian Telcom, the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and the County of Hawai‘i, have seen a 34% reduction in turnover, a 27% decrease in obesity among employees, and a 60% increase in average employee performance.
“We’re excited to see the great progress Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i has made in improving the overall health and well-being within communities across the state,” said Kathy Morimoto, HMSA vice president of Clinical Integration and Community Health. “By encouraging and elevating communities as a whole to make healthier choices through permanent changes to lifestyle, environment, policy, and social networks, we are confident Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i will continue to generate meaningful impact. It is our goal for family, friends, and neighbors to live their best lives.”
Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i has seen dramatic positive outcomes since the baseline measurement year in 2015. Chronic disease factors such as BMI, nutrition, and life evaluation — proven to drive medical costs and productivity— have decreased by 8.8%. According to Sharecare’s annual state well-being rankings, Hawai‘i continues to be one of the ‘healthiest’ states in the country; however, there is much more work to be done to address health disparities across the state.
With the help of community partners, transformations to food policy, tobacco policy, and the built environment have made significant improvements across the state. Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i helped secure more than $200 million in grant funding towards improvements in policies, programs, and infrastructure projects, such as improving access to healthy food as well as pedestrian safety across the state through quick build projects. Furthermore, Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i volunteers provided in-kind service valued at $528,332 towards the betterment of the community and Blue Zones Project participating organization initiatives.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to continue to support the well-being of Hawai‘i residents through economic recovery and well-being initiatives. To learn more about Blue Zones Project, contact the Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i team at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bzphawaii.com.
Caring for the people of Hawai‘i is our promise and our privilege. Working together with employers, partners, physicians, and other health care providers, we promote well-being, develop reliable, affordable health plans, and support members with clear, thoughtful guidance. HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawai‘i’s population. As a recognized leader, we embrace our responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of our community. Headquartered on O‘ahu with centers and offices statewide to serve our members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About Blue Zones Project
Blue Zones Project by Sharecare is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is based on research by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five cultures of the world—or blue zones —with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. More than 70 communities across North America have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 4.5 million citizens. The population health solution includes two Health Districts in California; 15 cities in Iowa; Albert Lea, Minnesota; the city of Fort Worth, Texas; Corry, Pennsylvania; Brevard, North Carolina; the Walla Walla Valley in Washington; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Blue Zones Project is a partnership between Blue Zones, LLC, and Sharecare, Inc. For more information, visit bluezonesproject.com.
Brought to Hawai‘i through an innovative sponsorship by HMSA, the initiative in Hawai‘i is currently in eight communities, including North Hawai‘i, East Hawai‘i, West Hawai‘i, Central Maui, Ko‘olaupoko, Mānoa-Makiki-McCully-Mō‘ili‘ili, Kapolei-‘Ewa, and Wahiawā, along with numerous statewide worksites and partnerships. For more information about Blue Zones Project Hawai‘i, visit www.bzphawaii.com.