Blue Zones initiative includes assessment and plan to help residents live better and longer lives
Allentown, PA, May, 24, 2023 – Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and the City of Allentown have launched 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. The effort begins with an in-depth assessment of the Allentown area that will help determine how to make it a healthier place to live, work and thrive.
“Lehigh Valley Health Network is committed to providing exceptional care and improving the well-being of the people in the communities we serve,” says Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, President and CEO, LVHN. “By partnering with Blue Zones and the city, we have an opportunity to expand our efforts in Allentown and work together to address the social determinants of health that impact our patients and their families. Together, we believe we can ultimately improve health outcomes for everyone in the community.”
Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk commented, “Blue Zones Activate marks a step forward in building a healthier and more equitable Allentown, which aligns with our vision to create a more sustainable and vibrant community. I believe that by working together with Blue Zones, LVHN and other local organizations, we can build a brighter, safer and better future for everyone in Allentown.”
The Blue Zones Approach
Blue Zones employs a proven solution in collaboration with communities to help people live better and longer lives. The company’s work is based on research and principles developed by National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author Dan Buettner, who identified the cultures of the world – or blue zones – with the healthiest, longest-living populations.
The Blue Zones approach focuses on the single largest determinant of health: where people live. Instead of focusing on just individual behavior change, Blue Zones helps communities make permanent changes to systems and surroundings so it’s easier for residents to eat wisely, move naturally and connect more with others as they move throughout their day. By improving the Life Radius® – the area close to home where most Americans spend 90% of their lives – Blue Zones transformations have been able to dramatically improve overall population health and well-being, raise employee and student productivity, and boost economic vitality and development.
“We are excited to work with leaders and people in Allentown who are committed to building a community that supports healthy living,” says Blue Zones CEO Ben Leedle. “Allentown leaders are investing in well-being at the community level, which brings exponential returns as research shows improved well-being leads to healthier and happier residents, a more productive and higher-performing workforce for adults, and better student achievement for schools, colleges, and universities.”
For more information on Blue Zones Activate or to learn how to get involved, visit bluezones.com/activate-allentown.
About Blue Zones®
Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live better, longer. 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 and/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,” “Thrive,” and “Blue Zones Kitchen” – all published by National Geographic books. Using original Blue Zones research, Blue Zones works with cities and counties to make healthy choices easier through permanent and semi-permanent changes to our human-made surroundings. Participating communities have experienced double-digit drops in obesity and tobacco use and have saved millions of dollars in health care costs. For more information, visit bluezones.com.
About Lehigh Valley Health Network
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) includes 13 hospital campuses, four in Allentown, two in Bethlehem, one in Easton, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton, two in Pottsville, one in Dickson City, and one in Lehighton, Pa.; 28 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 20 ExpressCARE locations including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care for adults and children; burn care at the Regional Burn Center; kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center; and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute, Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence, Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute and Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute physicians provide the most advanced treatments. Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance (MSK Cancer Alliance), an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the third largest children’s hospital in Pennsylvania, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is ranked as the region’s No. 1 hospital for nine straight years and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top 10 hospitals for nine consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest, LVH–17th Street and LVH–Muhlenberg are the Lehigh Valley’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by
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