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Scottsdale Blue Zones assessment delivers first-blush results

Photo of Scottsdale Blue Zones Assessment cover
The above image is the the cover of the pathway to results — link is below — provided by HonorHealth of the recent Scottsdale Blue Zones assessment. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)

HonorHealth sponsorship spurs Scottsdale effort

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Earlier this year, the city of Scottsdale, through sponsorship at HonorHealth, commissioned a Blue Zones assessment of where the community stands in the state of well-being metrics.

The program, “Blue Zones Activate” is a three-phase program based on principles identified during a 20-year worldwide longevity study commissioned by National Geographic and detailed in the New York Times bestseller, “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest and The Blue Zones Solution,” by Dan Buettner.

HonorHealth officials report the focus of the effort is to find root causes of how to help the people who live in the community live longer, more full lives.

HonorHealth reports — and provides a video on those key findings — the Blue Zones assessment found the following strengths and opportunities in the community:

  • Operational: The coordination and commitment of leading organizations across all sectors is a strong indicator of readiness.
  • Infrastructure: The accessibility of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and “Greenbelt” already provide opportunities to leverage. There are additional opportunities to create nudges in the built and natural environment to further encourage more daily natural movement.
  • Food and agriculture: There can be a thriving array of health food initiatives that address food access, food skills, food infrastructure and food culture. Scottsdale Unified School District’s school gardens already show a commitment to nutrition and access.
  • Mental Health: This was identified as a key issue by numerous focus groups from worksites to schools. Opportunities exist to leverage current capabilities like HonorHealth’s Via Linda Behavioral Hospital, to strengthen social and emotional health through a sense of purpose (volunteerism), and to connect social services better by partnering with the city, worksites, civic organizations and faith-based communities.

Next steps in Scottsdale Blue Zones program

HonorHealth officials report the health care entity is steadfast in commitment to Blue Zones to help go beyond the traditional expectations of a healthcare system.

In recent years, HonorHealth increased its holistic approach through outreach services to the community including Desert Mission Food Bank, Adult Day Health Care, military training and more.

The Blue Zones organization has presented a plan and proposal to HonorHealth for the next phase — transformation. This plan executes on a Scottsdale-specific blueprint for community transformation with a dedicated local staff managed by the Blue Zones team, according to a community update provided to the Scottsdale Daily Beat.

To stay up to date, and to find out how you can help, go to the Blue Zones Scottsdale website and sign-up for the newsletter.

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