On Wednesday, April 4th, Avow was designated as a Blue Zones Project Approved™ Worksite during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Avow Ispiri Community Center in Naples.  Over 60 staff members, volunteers, and guests attended to celebrate the accomplishment.

The Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to environment, policy, and social networks.  Its goal is to increase longevity by creating small changes in the community, resulting in lowered healthcare costs, improved productivity, increased competitiveness, and ultimately, a higher quality of life.

To earn designation as a Blue Zones Project Approved™ Worksite, Avow collaborated with Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida over 11 months to educate employees and volunteers, develop new ways to promote health and well-being, and complete a comprehensive application process.

Annalise Smith, Avow’s Senior Vice President of Engagement, led the effort to earn this designation.  Over the past 8 months, she organized a dedicated task force of Avow staff members to develop a comprehensive wellness program for employees and volunteers, and to promote healthy choices on Avow’s campus.

During the ceremony, Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida Worksite Consultant, Tracey Villalba said: “I believe that Avow is the first hospice and palliative care organization in the United States to become a Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite.  By caring for yourselves, you will be able to better care for others, and for longer.”

Representatives from the NCH Healthcare System, a major sponsor of Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida, were also present to recognize Avow’s accomplishment.  Dr. Allen Weiss, President and CEO of the NCH Healthcare System, and Avow President and CEO, Jaysen Roa, spoke on the importance of community partnerships and collaboration in promoting health and wellbeing.

Mr. Roa remarked: “To best serve the needs of the people of southwest Florida, Avow collaborates with primary care physicians, specialists, and community partners, including NCH.  Through this new collaboration with the Blue Zones Project, we will provide our employees with the healthy environment they need to provide compassionate care and support to our community.”

Additional information on the Blue Zones Project® is available at www.SouthwestFlorida.BlueZonesProject.com.