FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Health Resources is looking beyond hospital rooms and patient charts and working to make Fort Worth one of the healthiest cities in the country. As the primary sponsor of Blue Zones Project®, Fort Worth, the regional health system is leading the communitywide well-being improvement movement. With 23,000 employees and more than 400 points of access throughout North Texas, Texas Health is the nation's largest employer and health system to become Blue Zones Project Approved™, demonstrating how employers can play a significant role in promoting longer, better lives.
Blue Zones Project works with selected cities, including Fort Worth, to transform environments and daily routines in ways that make healthy choices easier. From moving naturally and eating with a plant slant to having a sense of purpose and downshifting to relieve stress, principles are patterned after lifestyles in Blue Zones® areas—pockets of the world where people are most likely to reach age 100 and beyond.
Texas Health helped bring Blue Zones Project to Fort Worth in 2014 and continues to back implementation of the initiative, including improvements to its worksite environment and award-winning Be Healthy program to help employees improve their personal well-being.
"Blue Zones Project is a major priority for our organization, and it reflects the value each member of the Texas Health family places on well-being," said Barclay Berdan, FACHE, CEO of Texas Health Resources. "We are dedicated to creating a workplace that promotes health and longevity for our employees and providing the people we serve with the care, support, and tools they need to live their best lives."
Each of the Texas Health's wholly-owned locations recently completed the Blue Zones Worksite® Pledge—establishing walking paths at all locations, encouraging employees to take "microbreaks" to stretch and move, creating Blue Zones parking spaces, hosting on-site purpose workshops and health screenings, and supporting volunteerism, among other efforts.
"Texas Health Resources is an example of an organization that truly walks the walk," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. "Through Blue Zones Project, Texas Health is transforming the well-being of its employees and our entire community. Its vision and innovative leadership are helping Fort Worth become one of the healthiest cities in the nation, and Texas Health stands as a model for employers across the country."
The Blue Zones Worksite Pledge promotes evidence-based actions and lifestyle principles that help make the healthy choice the easiest choice for employees. This translates into increased productivity and a potential healthcare cost savings for employers. Across the country, more than 454 employers have taken the Blue Zones Worksite Pledge.
Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth currently counts 54 approved worksites, including all 18 locations for the City of Fort Worth. Texas Health is currently the largest employer and health system in the world to earn the designation.
"We spend a majority of our time at work, and whether a company has 50 employees or 5,000, employers can play a huge role in improving the overall health of a community," said Matt Dufrene, vice president of Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth. "Texas Health is leading that charge here, by demonstrating that small changes can have a big impact—within their organization and beyond. That's what Blue Zones Project is all about."
In addition to worksites, Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth has 26 approved restaurants, four grocery stores, four schools, and two churches, plus 11 participating organizations—all of which have optimized their environments to make healthy choices easier. In addition, more than 18,000 people who live, work, and play in Fort Worth have taken the Blue Zones Personal Pledge. Once city-specific goals are met, Fort Worth will become a nationally certified Blue Zones Community®.
About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. The health system includes Texas Health Physicians Group and hospitals under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. As it continues to be a catalyst for a new healthcare economy that focuses on quality, value and the consumer experience, Texas Health has partnered and affiliated with numerous organizations — from all aspects of the healthcare industry — to better serve the more than seven million residents of North Texas. These relationships, along with other major initiatives and quality programs, are supported by Texas Health's more than 400 points of access, 23,000 employees and 5,500 physicians with active staff privileges, with the collective aim to provide employers and consumers in North Texas with more affordable, high-quality and better-coordinated care. Our mission is to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve.
About Blues Zones Project
Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city's environment, policy, and social networks. Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is inspired by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five regions of the world—or Blue Zones—with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner's findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Currently, 27 communities in seven states have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 1.7 million Americans. The movement includes three beach cities in California, 15 cities in Iowa, the city of Fort Worth, and communities in Hawaii, Southwest Florida, and Oregon. For more information, visit www.bluezonesproject.com.
Gigi Westerman/Sandra Brodnicki
Blue Zones Project Media Relations
SOURCE Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth