Fairfield Achieves Certified Blue Zones Community Status

Written by Theresa Rose on April 10, 2015

Local Organizations and Community Leaders Implement a Wide Range of
Environmental Improvements to Enhance the Well-Being of Residents Through
Community Transformation

FAIRFIELD, Iowa — April 10, 2015 — Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield,
Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ: HWAY), and Blue Zones, LLC, today announced that
Fairfield, Iowa, has been named a certified Blue Zones Community®.
Certification recognizes Fairfield’s community transformation through
successful implementation of the Blue Zones Project®, a first-of-its-kind
population health program that brings the world’s best practices in food
policy, built environment, purpose and social networking to participating
cities. Brought to Iowa through an innovative sponsorship by Wellmark in
collaboration with Healthways and Blue Zones, the Blue Zones Project
initiative encourages all Iowa communities to optimize their surroundings to
make the healthy choice the easy choice. The Blue Zones Project is the
centerpiece of Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative, a privately led, publicly
endorsed initiative intended to inspire Iowans and communities throughout
the state to boost well-being. Community leaders, volunteers and organizations throughout Fairfield have
been working to achieve certification status since October 2012, when the
community was named a Blue Zones Project demonstration site. As a result of
its efforts, Fairfield can celebrate the following outcomes:
The 16-mile trail system circling the city has continued to expand
with tree plantings and the addition of a pedestrian and cycling bridge.
Daily usage of the trail increased by 180 users. Brain Breaks, Brain Button, Brain Gym, Pound and a Walking School
Bus, all programs focusing on physical movement, are getting nearly 1,000
students moving. In addition, more than 130 students participated in the
Farm to School program, helping to grow 1,000 tomato and pepper plants. Designated worksites in Fairfield have led by example. A remodel
of Iowa State Bank’s fitness facility doubled usage. Agri-Industrial
Plastics reports tobacco usage dropping from 33 percent to 18 percent
following adoption of a tobacco-free campus policy. Local restaurant Crepe Escape offers crepes in small sizes to
those who prefer a smaller portion. The half-sized sandwich option at
Yummy’s makes up more than half of all sandwich sales. Revelations Café now
offers fresh fruit as the default side dish. Local grocery stores created Blue Zones checkout lanes, promote
Blue Zones foods in end-cap displays, created Blue Zones parking spaces, and
designated space in shopping carts for fruits and vegetables. Hy-Vee is
increasing shelf space for water by 50 percent.

“From the outset of the governor’s announcement of the Healthiest State
initiative and the collaboration with Wellmark and Healthways to implement
Blue Zones Project in Iowa communities, I knew that Fairfield would rise to
the challenge. We are so fortunate to have a foundation of well-being
initiatives and infrastructure within our community, and the work we did to
meet the certification to become a Blue Zones Community strengthened our
focus on doing even more,” said Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy. “I applaud the
businesses, schools, restaurants, groceries and individuals who did the work
to qualify our community. I am proud of the great team of leaders we have in
the community who made this possible. We have much to be grateful for with
this accomplishment.”

“Fairfield has embraced transformational environmental change through Blue
Zones Project and has begun to see progress,” said Blue Zones founder Dan
Buettner. “We applaud the community’s efforts and look forward to the
continued focus on well-being improvement.”

Fairfield achieved Blue Zones Community status after reaching the following
key milestones, all of which are required improvement goals for Blue Zones
Project demonstration communities to receive certification:

· Fifty percent of the top 20 identified worksites became designated
Blue Zones Worksites®.

· Twenty-five percent of schools became designated Blue Zones

· Twenty-five percent of restaurants became designated Blue Zones

· Twenty-five percent of grocery stores became designated Blue Zones
Grocery Stores®.

· Twenty percent of citizens have committed to the Blue Zones
Project and completed at least one well-being improvement action.

· The community has completed the Blue Zones Community Policy®
bundle. “We commend the citizens of Fairfield for working together toward this
significant achievement,” said Laura Jackson, Wellmark executive vice
president. “The community has committed to making well-being a way of life
and has set a great example for Iowa communities of their size.”

“Fairfield has demonstrated its dedication to improved well-being and is
well deserving of Blue Zones Community certification,” said Katrina Worlund,
Healthways senior vice president, Blue Zones Project. “This community has
begun to see positive results, including a significant decrease in tobacco
usage at a large worksite and an increase in trail usage. Fairfield’s
citizens will reap benefits from these changes for years to come.”

Fifteen Iowa communities are currently part of Blue Zones Project and are
positively influencing statewide well-being to date, as measured by the
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. For more information, please visit
www.bluezonesproject.com .