Vita Park Eye Associates Recognized as Blue Zones Project Approved
Vita Park Eye Associates Recognized as a Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin –September 21, 2018 – Blue Zones Project® Dodge County held a ribbon cutting celebration today at Vita Park Eye Associates in Beaver Dam to recognize the organization as the newest worksite to become Blue Zones Project Approved™. This designation demonstrates the commitment of Vita Park Eye Associates, S.C. and its wellness team to improve the well-being of employees by optimizing the physical environment, offering key employee benefits, and hosting special events.
“I knew about Blue Zones Project, long before it came to Beaver Dam. I have a cousin in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and they were telling me how it affected their community,” said Vita Park Eye Associates’ Dr. Jay Wilkins.
Albert Lea, Minnesota piloted Blue Zones Project in 2009 and was the first certified Blue Zones Community.
Dr. Wilkins continues, “In their community, they have increased their lifespan by almost three years through Blue Zones Project initiatives.”
The eye clinic’s beautifully renovated space has little resemblance to what most people think of when they envision a medical clinic. From the waiting rooms to the exam rooms and breakroom, a relaxing space for employees and patients is created through soothing colors, natural light, open hallways, classy artwork, and a bubble wall. Employees can also take time to downshift or destress outdoors when the weather is favorable. On the patio, employees started a container garden and walking routes were mapped out around the clinic. Moving naturally, like walking and taking regular stretch breaks, as well as taking time to downshift are common habits in the original Blue Zones areas.
Employees enjoy benefits that support their personal well-being. The company offers tuition reimbursement, wellness coaching, tobacco-cessation coaching, and weight management and nutrition resources. Programs like these allow employees access to resources to personal well-being improvement. The wellness team has branded the local wellness initiative program as Your Eye on Health. Employees also enjoy a weekly Community Supported Agriculture share purchased by the company. These resources make healthier choices easier for all employees.
Social connections are important, especially within worksites. Employees are more engaged and more productive when they feel connected to their co-workers. Vita Park Eye Associates employees enjoyed a family-friendly picnic this past summer with plans to start a Potluck Moai and Walking Moai soon. As part of their mission to give back to the community, Vita Park Employees clean, sort, and bag glasses donated through the Lions Club Eyeglasses program in preparation for them to be sent to missions around the world. Locally, employees participate in the annual Don Riley Race the Parks Cardiac Run/Walk each year which raises funds for the Beaver Dam Community Hospitals Foundations, Inc. Automated External Defibrillator and Cardiac Rehab programs.
“We felt we needed to promote healthy practices at our clinic so we could lead by example,” said Dr. Jay Wilkins at Friday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. “Every day we teach our patients how important their overall health is critical to the health of their eyes. It starts with each one of us to be good examples. We encourage other colleagues too, in the medical practices, to strive to become Blue Zones Project Approved worksites. Our team truly works very hard to care for our patients and to fight for our patients’ sight. We truly care about our employees and strive to empower them to make healthy choices and decrease their stress on the job. Blue Zones Project has proven that this can lead to a healthier workplace and happier employees.”
Brought to Dodge County by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, in collaboration with Sharecare, Inc. and Blue Zones, LLC, Blue Zones Project is a community-by-community well-being improvement initiative—designed to make healthy choices easier through sustainable changes to environment, policy, and social networks.
For details about becoming a Blue Zones Project Approved organization or general information about Blue Zones Project, Dodge County, call 920-212-8511, or visit dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com.
About Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc.
Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc. is an independent, non-profit healthcare organization whose mission is to deliver excellence across a continuum of services to patients in the region of Dodge, Columbia and Fond du Lac counties, Wisconsin. BDCH offers a comprehensive continuum of services to people of all ages, including primary and specialty care, obstetric and inpatient acute care, outpatient surgery and oncology services, emergency services, rehabilitation, independent and assisted living, home care, hospice, long-term care, wound care, urology, orthopedics and sports medicine, interventional radiology, occupational health, pain management, breast health services and women’s health, community education, sleep medicine, and day care for children. For more information, visit www.bdch.com.
About Blue Zones Project
Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is inspired by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five regions of the world—or Blue Zones®—with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Currently, 42 communities in nine states have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 3.3 million Americans nationwide. The movement includes three beach cities in California; 15 cities in Iowa; Albert Lea, Minnesota; the city of Fort Worth; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Blue Zones Project is an exclusive partnership between Blue Zones and Sharecare. For more information, visit bluezonesproject.com.
Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile, where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs, and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest, and most productive life. With award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols, and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare helps providers, employers, and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com