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Local News

Blue Zones Activate Barry County Extended for Two More Years

Blue Zones and the Barry Community Foundation are pleased to announce the extension of Blue Zones Activate in Barry County for two more years.

 

Blue Zones uses scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health, and happiness to boost the well-being of entire communities. The company’s work is based on research and principles developed by Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author, who identified the cultures of the world—or blue zones —with the healthiest, longest-living populations.

 

Blue Zones focuses on the single largest determinant of our health: the place we live. By focusing on the places where people live, work, learn, and play, Blue Zones has been able to help communities move the needle in improving overall population health and reducing healthcare costs. The innovative strategy is built on the foundation of improving food and built environment policies that improve population health and reduce health disparities.

 

After serving three years as the Blue Zones Activate Executive Director, Allison Troyer Wiswell will transition to a new position on the Blue Zones national team as an account executive; in her new role, she will be actively involved with the work in Barry County as well as in other communities around the country. Catherine Getty has been chosen as the new Executive Director of Blue Zones Activate Barry County. Getty formerly served as the Planning and Zoning Administrator for Thornapple Townships, was a Barry County Commissioner, and has been involved in the Blue Zones work over the past three years. Rachel Walsh, a landscape architect currently pursuing her Master of Public Health, will serve as the community coordinator and project manager.

 

The team is well-positioned to capitalize on the success of the work already accomplished including the development of the countywide trail plan and the advancement of a community food center for Barry County. The initiative is funded by public and private sponsors aligned under the shared goal of advancing the well-being and quality of life for everyone in the region.

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