HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Five communities across three islands will be the next to undergo the well-being transformation that Blue Zones Project and HMSA first introduced to Hawaii two years ago. The newly selected communities, which were announced in a press conference earlier today, include: Kapolei/Ewa, Manoa/Makiki/McCully/Moiliili, Wahiawa, Wailuku/Kahului, and West Hawaii on Hawaii Island. These communities join North Hawaii and East Hawaii on Hawaii Island, as well as Koolaupoko on the Windward side of Oahu, which began their Blue Zones Project initiatives in 2015.
Blue Zones Project is a community-based well-being improvement initiative that uses scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health, and happiness to create vibrant communities and boost the well-being of their residents. The newly added communities will gain access to national expertise and support from a local team of well-being consultants. During the three-year program, Blue Zones Project will support community engagement to create an environment that encourages well-being and continues to do so long into the future.
All five communities went through a competitive selection process over the summer. The original plan was to select two new sites but all of these communities demonstrated an impressive ability to take on the initiative and showed exceptional strength in their strong sense of community and ability to organize and collaborate with all sectors in a short amount of time, their strong commitment and readiness to carry out the scope of work involved in becoming a certified Blue Zones Community, and an excellent understanding of Blue Zones Project concepts and what it means for the community.
The newly selected communities will now begin building leadership teams and committees to work with schools, grocery stores, restaurants, worksites, faith-based organizations, and policy leaders to make the healthy choice the easy choice in their community. Kick-off celebrations for the general public will be held later this year to officially launch the Blue Zones communities.
"We're looking forward to working with these new communities to help enhance quality of life, and tackle some of the health challenges we face, such as diabetes and obesity," said Michael Acker, general manager of Blue Zones Project. "To date, we have over 200 organizations and more than 4,000 individuals involved with Blue Zones Project throughout Hawaii. Thanks to HMSA, we're able to expand our efforts in bringing this nationally recognized well-being initiative to thousands more of our children, family, friends, neighbors, and organizations."
For more information on Blue Zones Project in Hawaii or to learn how to participate, visit hawaii.bluezonesproject.com.