Texas Health Resources, Arlington
Texas Health Resources in Arlington was awarded the Texas Hospital Association’s Excellence in Community Service Award for implementation of Blue Zones Project®, a neighborhood-by-neighborhood transformation project to improve the health and well-being of people living Fort Worth, Texas.
In 2013, Fort Worth ranked 185th on the list of 190 reported metro areas in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index (WBI). In response, a broad base of Fort Worth’s leadership, including the City of Fort Worth and City Council, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and Texas Health Resources, set an initial five-year course to improve health and well-being in Fort Worth. They believed success could best be achieved through Blue Zones Project, a community-led well-being improvement initiative based on the research of Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Explorer and award-winning journalist who discovered five places in the world — dubbed Blue Zones — where people live the longest, healthiest lives. Blue Zones Project is designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a community’s environment, policy, and social networks.
Since 2014, Blue Zones Project Fort Worth has partnered with thousands of schools, businesses, neighborhoods, grocers, restaurants, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and individuals to make healthier choices where we live, work and play. Blue Zones Project work is centered around the Power 9®, nine principles of a healthy lifestyle, including moving naturally, eating more plant-based foods, living with purpose, putting family first, belonging to a faith-based group or social circle, and creating a stress-relieving strategy among, other aspects. The program has since exceeded targets set to engage individuals and organizations, improving the health and well-being of those it engages.
In 2018, Fort Worth’s WBI equivalent rank increased to 31st out of 156 metro areas. In 2020, the city commissioned another Gallup WBI survey. Despite a nationwide pandemic, Fort Worth’s 2020 score was unchanged from 2018, showing that the city had maintained the strides it demonstrated in 2018, as well as made additional improvements.
Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources, has served as chair of the initiative’s Steering Committee since its inception in 2014. Though Blue Zones Project continues to be led through valuable input from Fort Worth leaders and organizations, since 2019 it has been wholly operated under North Texas Healthy Communities (NTHC), the community outreach arm of Texas Health Resources that focuses on the delivery of community benefit through well-being improvement initiatives. Under NTHC, the work continues, building on the momentum that’s been created and sustained through Blue Zones Project since day one, deepening relationships with approved and participating organizations and collaborating with community partners. 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.
Please join us in congratulating Texas Health Resources for being named THA’s 2022 Excellence in Community Service Award winner.