A Community Well-Being Project
Valley In Motion is leading the effort to make the Scranton metropolitan area (Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Wyoming Counties) a Blue Zone – a place of exceptional health and wellness.
This collaborative partnership is focused on increasing our region’s Community Well-Being. Not only about physical health, Community Well-Being defines how people connect to their communities, their sense of purpose, their stressors and supports. It looks at all those factors that make a life well-lived. Read more about Blue Zones in The Valley Advantage here and here.
In September 2020, VIM organized a Blue Zones Workshop to present analysis of our area’s Community Well-Being. Research showed that Blue Zone-type programs could save our region $952 million in medical, productivity, and regional economic costs over ten years.
The VIM-led NEPA Blue Zone Exploratory Committee followed up with a Site Assessment in April and May 2021 to determine whether we were ready for a significant community well-being project. Over 150 people participated in focus groups, roundtables, and other meetings that provided a national Blue Zones project team specific information about the strengths and opportunities of our region.
What we’ve found is that our community’s environment has the most important on our health. Is it easy to walk or bike to places you need to go? Do you have supportive people in your life? What’s the culture around food or exercise? Do you have a strong sense of purpose? Answers to these questions can be shaped by policies and programs that naturally bring people together in healthy ways.
In 2022, VIM will take the next step in applying Community Well-Being concepts to specific communities in the Lackawanna Valley. Want to be involved? Contact us! It’s a good idea that’s just bound to grow.
Sponsors of the NEPA Blue Zones analysis and assessment phases include Geisinger Health Plan, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Lackawanna County, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Moses Taylor Foundation, PPL, and VaxServe. There are many opportunities for leadership in Community Well-Being! Click below to Join the Effort!