DAILY CITIZEN STAFF
Dodge County is now a certified Blue Zones community, involved organizations announced Wednesday.
Marshfield Medical Center—Beaver Dam, Sharecare Inc. and Blue Zones made the announcement. Blue Zones organizes in communities for policies and activities that promote health in government, workplaces, schools and businesses. Beaver Dam, Horicon and Juneau were named Blue Zones demonstration sites in 2016 and other organizations have joined the effort since then.
In the Wednesday statement, Blue Zones pointed to outcomes like decreases smoking rates, local government policy decisions, increased produce sales at Rechek’s in Beaver Dam, increased breakfast consumption at Van Brunt Elementary in Horicon, lowered childhood obesity rates and people being involved in various Blue Zones activities.
“Leaders and volunteers in Dodge County have embraced the Blue Zones model and worked together toward this common goal of community well-being,” said Dan Buettner, Blue Zones founder and National Geographic Fellow. “We applaud their efforts and look forward to the continued focus on well-being improvement.”
Dodge County received the approved status after hitting certain marks like 25 percent of schools being Blue Zones approved, 25 percent of restaurants and grocery stores being Blue Zones approved and 50 percent of identified workplaces becoming approved.
“To see Dodge County achieve Blue Zones Community status is incredible,” said Angelia Foster, Marshfield Medical Center—Beaver Dam Chief Administrative Officer. “This significant achievement required tremendous commitment and effort from the entire community. We commend Dodge County for making well-being a way of life and for setting a great example for other communities.”
Marshfield previously announced it would fund Blue Zones in Dodge County through August 2021.
“We know that communities with greater well-being have lower healthcare costs, higher productivity and are recognized among the best places to live, work and play,” said Michael Acker, Sharecare Senior Vice President for the Blue Zones Project. “With a strong focus on well-being improvement throughout the community, Dodge County has proven they are dedicated to the health of their residents along with economic and social vitality of the community.”
Over 50 communities in North America are part of the Blue Zones project.
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