Iowa Launches Blue Zones Project™

On Wednesday, August 10th, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced the nation’s first comprehensive statewide well-being improvement program. This Blue Zones Project® strives to make Iowa the healthiest state by 2016. Like other Blue Zones projects, this one will also be a community-based approach to transform the environments in which Iowans live, work and play to improve their emotional, physical and social health.

Blue Zones® has partnered again with Healthways, and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield pledged to provide up to $25 million over the next five years to lead an information campaign based on the Blue Zones Project. Ten Iowa communities will be chosen through a competitive process to become Blue Zones Communities. The communities selected will be provided the most resources and funding to help residents make lifestyle changes.

“This Healthiest State Initiative will assist Iowans in learning about and applying proven methods to live longer, happier and healthier lives,” Branstad said. Making comprehensive lifestyle changes could allow the state to redirect as much as $16 billion in funding over the next five years, he noted, based on estimates of health-care cost savings and gains in productivity.

Information on how Iowans can apply to be selected as a Blue Zones Community can be found at

To learn more about the Blue Zones Project see