Oskaloosa One of Twelve Selection Finalists for Blue Zones ProjectTM Demonstration Site

Enjoying a walk in Oskaloosa, Iowa (file photo)

Oskaloosa, Iowa – October 10, 2012 – The Mahaska Wellness Coalition is pleased to announce Oskaloosa has advanced to the next step in the process to become a demonstration site. The Coalition first submitted a letter of intent in fall 2011, but Oskaloosa was not selected in the first round of projects. The coalition submitted an application this summer for the second round of projects to be selected.

Six of the 12 sites receiving visits will be selected as the final demonstration sites. The selected communities will receive resources and support from national experts to create environmental, social and policy changes which will support healthier behaviors leading to longer, happier lives.

Coalition member and OACDG staff Deb Bruxvoort said, “We are appreciative of the opportunity to host a site visit. We believe Oskaloosa is well-positioned to embrace this change and lead Iowa towards becoming the healthiest state in the nation.” According to the recent Mahaska County Community Health needs assessment, Mahaska County ranks 88th of 99 counties for childhood obesity. “ Community leaders recognize how concerning this is and are working collaboratively to create positive change. The Blue Zones gives us an excellent model and resources,” added coalition member and YMCA Executive Director, Dawn Collins.

The Oskaloosa site visit is scheduled for October 30th. During this meeting, our community leaders will showcase why we believe Oskaloosa is an ideal demonstration site. The Blue Zones ProjectTM Team will thoroughly review the expectations of a demonstration site as well. “There will be large group discussions as well as breakout sessions for city policy leaders, employers, schools, and media as well as the Power 9 and initiative leadership team,” stated Collins.

Community members interested in participating in the site visit and leading this transformation are welcome to join the Mahaska Wellness Coalition. For more information or to volunteer, contact Dawn Collins at the Mahaska County YMCA. She can be reached at 641.673.8411 or dawn.collins@mahaskaymca.org.

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