Blue Zones: Improving Well-Being Community by Community|
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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
Together with community and business leaders of Fort Worth and our strategic partner Healthways, we are taking the first steps in an ambitious project to turn North Texas communities into Blue Zones, community by community.
Blue Zones are communities where people share common elements of healthy diet, healthy lifestyle and positive outlook. Those communities tend to have higher overall well-being that can be measured.
People with higher well-being are happier and contribute more to employers, families and communities, and cost the health system less. Employers enjoy overall benefit savings as well as improved productivity, less absenteeism and stronger retention.
What would it be like if we could begin to turn communities in North Texas into Blue Zones? That is a lofty goal, indeed, but one worth pursuing. We’re taking the first steps to lead North Texas in that direction.
Together with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, an engaged City Council and Chamber of Commerce and other community partners, we are starting with neighborhoods in Fort Worth which will serve as our living laboratory to demonstrate the impact simple changes can have on an entire community.
We expect this to be the start of a multi-year journey that may have the opportunity to expand across the DFW Metroplex creating Blue Zones, community by community.
For our faith-based health system — Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial — I’m Doug Hawthorne.