Three-year Blue Zones Project initiative reports significant well-being gains
CORRY, Pa., May 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Sharecare (Nasdaq: SHCR) and Blue Zones, LLC, announced today that Corry, Pennsylvania, has been designated a certified Blue Zones Community, marking the first Blue Zones Community in the Northeast and the only one in the state of Pennsylvania. Certification recognizes Corry's well-being transformation through the successful implementation of Blue Zones Project by Sharecare, a pioneering population health initiative that brings evidence-based best practices in built environment, policy, and social connection to participating communities.
Brought to Corry through the collaborative efforts of Highmark/AHN Saint Vincent; Corry Memorial Hospital, an affiliate of LECOM Health; and UPMC, the well-being improvement initiative focuses on optimizing surroundings to make healthy choices easier so people live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
"Corry has, and continues, to achieve incredible outcomes as a result of the long-term vision, coordination, and commitment of partners, organizations, and residents. The sponsor collaboration for the Corry Blue Zones Project serves as a healthcare industry breakthrough case for 'collectively accountable' community change and improvement," said Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones and co-founder of Blue Zones Project. "It is remarkable that the local integrated health systems that compete on traditional care every day, came together as partners for the community. Along with Erie County leadership, they should all be commended for their collaboration, without which the project would have never been possible."
Since February 2019, local leaders, volunteers, and community organizations in Corry have worked together to achieve certification status, and according to the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index, Corry's investment in well-being is paying off. The city's overall 2022 Index score rose to 60 out of 100, a gain of more than six points since 2019. Each point increase in well-being for a population leads to an approximately 2% reduction in ER visits and hospital utilization, and to an approximately 1% reduction in total health care costs.
Over the same three-year period, Corry has shown improvement in purpose, social, financial, community, and physical well-being ? the five core elements of individual well-being measured by Sharecare's Index. Sixty-two percent of Corry residents now report they are thriving compared to 45% in 2019, 15% fewer Corry residents report high cholesterol, and tobacco use declined by nearly 27%.
"Corry's jump in well-being establishes it as a best practice example for Pennsylvania and the nation of what a community can achieve when it sustains a focused commitment to well-being. The work of Blue Zones Project in Corry is playing a significant role in expanding the community's well-being culture and improving its health outcomes," said Michael Acker, Sharecare's senior vice president and general manager of community and urban services.
As a result of its efforts, Corry has made it easier for residents to move naturally, eat better, develop healthy social circles, and live with purpose. Highlights include:
"At LECOM Health's Corry Memorial Hospital, caring for the health and well-being of our community has been our mission for more than 125 years. As one of the three sponsors of the Blue Zones Project Corry, we have witnessed many people getting involved in the Blue Zones activities and working together to make the Corry area a better place to live a longer, happier, and healthier lifestyle," said Barb Nichols, president and CEO of Corry Memorial Hospital.
Community leaders and volunteers continue to champion the work of Blue Zones Project by developing a sustainability plan to further Corry's progress toward optimal health and well-being.
"It is clear the community has much to be proud of, and the vision and passion of its leaders will continue to drive meaningful change. Many of the programs initiated by Blue Zones Project will continue through the support of local partners, including community cooking classes, walking groups, trail support, community cleanups, and city beautification," said Jennifer Eberlein, community manager for Blue Zones Project Corry. "The strong collaborative nature of our community partners ensures Corry will remain engaged in this transformative work to improve the well-being of its citizens. Our community champions are truly dedicated to seeing this community thrive."
About Blue 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. Blue Zones Project is based on research by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five cultures 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 which will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Currently, 71 communities across North America have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 4.5 million citizens. The population health solution includes two Health Districts in California; 15 cities in Iowa; Albert Lea, Minnesota; the city of Fort Worth, Texas; Corry, Pennsylvania; Brevard, North Carolina; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Blue Zones Project is a partnership between Blue Zones, LLC, and Sharecare, Inc. For more information, visit bluezonesproject.com.
Sharecare PR Team
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