Tufts Medicine and Lowell General Hospital today announced the launch of Blue Zones Activate, a comprehensive initiative that uses an evidence-based approach to make healthy choices easier in all the places people spend the most time and that leads to reductions in disparities and improvements in well- being.
Local public, non-profit, and private-sector leaders will be convened by the Greater Lowell Health Alliance (GLHA) to guide the Well-being Movement and mobilize community advocates. A Blue Zones team will be on the ground in September to work with community leaders to conduct an in-depth readiness and feasibility assessment to determine how to make it a healthier place to live, work, and thrive. Together with local leaders and experts, the Blue Zones team will assess readiness and build a plan for change.
Health and life expectancy have been on a continuous decline in America. Research shows that where people live has a bigger influence on their health than their genetics. Blue Zones tackles this so-called “zip code effect” using scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health, and happiness gleaned from 20 years of research to boost the well-being of entire communities. Their innovative work in 70 communities around the country has sparked transformations that enhance the well-being of all residents, improve employee and student productivity, and boost economic vitality and development.
Blue Zones focuses on the single largest determinant of our health: the place we live. The Blue Zones Life Radius approach is a systems-focused model that improves the human-made surroundings so that it is easier for people to move naturally, connect with others, eat wisely, and connect with their purpose as they move throughout the day. By focusing on the places where people live, work, learn, and play, Blue Zones has been able to move the needle in improving overall population health and happiness and reducing healthcare costs.
Jody White, Lowell General Hospital President and CEO says, “Tufts Medicine is sponsoring the Well-being Movement in Lowell and partnered with Blue Zones as a first step in a broad effort to transform well- being across eastern Massachusetts. We are starting in Lowell because of the engaged advocates and leaders in our community who are already working together to resolve disparities in health and wellbeing.”
The Blue Zones Approach to Community Transformation
Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones and Co-founder of Blue Zones Project, says, “We applaud Lowell leaders for spearheading this movement. Improving well-being at the community level leads to healthier and happier residents, a better and more productive workforce, and a more vibrant economy. We are excited to get to know Lowell and the well-being work already being done to create a transformation plan together that will improve the lives of current and future generations.”
The Blue Zones team will begin immediate work with local leaders and organizations to assess the strengths, needs, and challenges of Lowell. Blue Zones experts will visit the region to help create a transformation plan that, once implemented, can drive widespread improvements in well-being, reductions in healthcare costs, and improve economic vitality in the region.
For more information, visit https://www.bluezones.com/activate-lowell/.
About Tufts Medicine and Lowell General Hospital
Tufts Medicine is a leading integrated health system bringing together the best of academic and community healthcare to deliver exceptional, connected and accessible care experiences to consumers across Massachusetts. Comprised of Tufts Medical Center, Lowell General Hospital, MelroseWakefield Hospital, Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, an expansive home care network and a large integrated physician network, Tufts Medicine has more than 15,000 dedicated care team members providing more than 1.5 million patient experiences per year. The health system is the principal teaching affiliate for Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medicine came together in 2014 to leverage the experience of its member organizations and integrate their missions to together transform the ways that consumers engage with and experience their care.
About Blue Zones®
Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better. The company’s work is rooted in explorations and research done by National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner in Blue Zones regions around the world, where people live extraordinarily long or happy lives. The original research and findings were released in Buettner's bestselling books The Blue Zones Solution, The Blue Zones of Happiness, The Blue Zones Kitchen, The Blue Zones Challenge, The Blue Zones, and Thrive—all published by National Geographic books. Using original Blue Zones research, Blue Zones works with cities to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city's environment, policy, and social networks. Participating communities have experienced double digit drops in obesity and tobacco use and have saved millions of dollars in healthcare costs. Currently, 70 communities in the United States have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 4.5 million people. For more information, visit bluezones.com.