Fort Worth sees significant rise in well-being by implementing best practices citywide
ARLINGTON, TEXAS (February 15, 2023) –Texas Health Resources was honored with the Texas Hospital Association’s 2022 Excellence in Community Service Award on February 14 for the accomplishments of Blue Zones Project® Fort Worth, a well-being initiative in Tarrant County implemented by North Texas Healthy Communities (NTHC), the nonprofit outreach arm of Texas Health Resources. The award recognizes hospitals and health care systems that distinguished themselves through contributions to their communities. Brought to Fort Worth in 2014, Blue Zones Project works to make healthy choices easier and more accessible.
Blue Zones Project focuses on helping individuals and communities adopt the Power 9® principles of a healthy lifestyle. Those include moving naturally, eating more plant-based foods, living with purpose, putting family first, and reducing stress. The principles are based on habits common in communities around the world where individuals live longer, better lives. In Fort Worth, that has meant working with area schools, businesses, neighborhoods, grocers, restaurants, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and residents to make healthier choices easier.
“Blue Zones Project Fort Worth is a testament to the power and effectiveness of collective impact,” said Barclay Berdan, FACHE, CEO, Texas Health Resources. “We have seen tremendous improvement in the health and well-being of our community and its residents.”
Blue Zones Project’s efforts have yielded substantial improvements for the mental and physical well-being of Fort Worth area residents. Between 2013 and 2018, Fort Worth raised its national well-being ranking to 31st from 185th on the list of 190 reported metro areas in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index (WBI). The WBI provides an in-depth view of American’s social, financial, community, and physical well-being. As a result, in late 2018 Fort Worth was recognized as a certified Blue Zones Community®, the largest in the country. Despite a nationwide pandemic, Fort Worth’s 2020 score remained unchanged from 2018, demonstrating that the substantial progress was resilient and sustainable.
Under NTHC, the work continues, building on the momentum that has been created and sustained through Blue Zones Project since day one. In many cases, ongoing work impacts specific parts of the city identified through Texas Health Resources’ Community Health Needs Assessment as being in high need and where healthy choices are not as readily available.
That includes innovative initiatives like the Fresh Access and Good For You Pantry programs, which provide no-cost access to fresh produce and healthy foods at the neighborhood level in collaboration with schools and community centers. NTHC also supports Double Up Food Bucks, a national program that allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit recipients to double their buying power on fresh produce at select grocery stores and farmers markets.
“The work that we’ve accomplished over the past eight years is due to the incredible support of this community and our continued commitment to making this one of the healthiest cities in the country,” said Matt Dufrene, North Texas Healthy Communities vice president. “We are proud to receive this recognition but also understand there is still much to be done.”
For more information, visit LiveLongFortWorth.com.