By Clint Brown
According to Cyndi Atkins, Pella Regional Public Relations Manager and Pella Blue Zones Comittee member, Blue Zones representative, Mary Lawyer, stated over the phone that Pella was not selected to become a Blue Zones Project Demonstration site for further review at this time.
"While this is a setback, I do think we have some exciting activities in place for developing health and wellness in our community and certainly there are options for future direction," Atkins said via an email to The Chronicle. "There are some great things already underway. The Community Transformation Grant is giving us a mechanism to work on healthy activities to change our community. That grant is already funded and work is beginning on Friday. The Worksite Wellness group has met and is working to support wellness in business and industry in town and is developing ways to share wellness ideas with smaller businesses in the community. Good things are happening, and we need to keep the momentum going."
Atkins also commented that are some things that will be available to Pella as a community from the Blue Zones.
"In April, there will be materials available online to assist in developing healthy initiatives in Pella," she stated. "In the third quarter, Blue Zones will host a symposium to share information from demonstration communities. And there will be a second round of applications this fall. We can continue to grow support and augment our application for this second round."
A press conference in Des Moines will be held Friday to announce new Blue Zones Project expansion of resources to enable all communities in Iowa to pursue better health and longevity.
Wellmark and Healthways will also name 11 finalist communities selected for site visits to determine the first 3 of 10 demonstration sites. Demonstration sites are communities in Iowa that will receive expert support to accelerate their Blue Zones transformation and serve as role models for all Iowa communities.