Blue Zones Project wins prestigious national award

Published on September 16, 2021

The American Hospital Association (AHA) will honor Blue Zones Project Fort Worth with the AHA Dick Davidson NOVA Award for hospital-led collaborative efforts that improve community health.

“The recipients of this year’s AHA Dick Davidson NOVA award have created collaborative partnerships and programs to address the needs of their communities during these challenging and unprecedented times,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack.

The award recognizes hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health status, whether through health care, economic or social initiatives.

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Blue Zones Project Fort Worth is a community-led well-being improvement initiative that focuses on changing the environment around us to make healthy choices easier. In 2014, Fort Worth community leaders and volunteers, led by Texas Health Resources, the chamber of commerce and the mayor’s office, set out to support policy changes that helped create a more walkable, bikeable community; increase access to healthy foods; and reduce tobacco use. Efforts to achieve these objectives raised Fort Worth’s ranking in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index from 185th out of 190 metro areas to 31st (tied) out of 156 metro areas by 2018.

The city’s 2020 well-being score was unchanged in the midst of the pandemic, and Fort Worth held steady on the dramatic well-being increases made since Blue Zones Project began efforts.

When COVID-19 hit, Blue Zones Project Fort Worth pivoted from programming to supporting community partners in responding to food insecurity. Collaborations included providing meals, fresh foods and pantry items through multiple community groups, funding essential hygiene supplies and providing books and supplies for schools, community centers and homeless services.

Photo: When the pandemic hit, Blue Zones Fort Worth stepped up programming to respond to food insecurity.

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