(L to R): State Senator Steve Santarsiero, Kimberly Everett, Executive Director, BCHIP and Margaret Brown, Blue Zones, VP Business Development.

(L to R): State Senator Steve Santarsiero, Kimberly Everett, Executive Director, BCHIP and Margaret Brown, Blue Zones, VP Business Development.

BUCKS COUNTY – May 31, 2024 – A transformative initiative to improve the health and well-being of area residents, Blue Zones Ignite Bucks Area, was announced today by State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership (BCHIP).  Funded by a state grant, the Senator and BCHIP have partnered with Blue Zones to conduct a community-wide assessment of the Bucks area for the purpose of recommending infrastructure, policy, and other improvements that will help determine how to make our community into a healthier and happier place to live, work, grow up and grow old.

“The Blue Zones model has the potential to transform our community in a way that will make people’s lives better and allow them to live longer and healthier,” said Senator Santarsiero.  “I’m excited to see the assessment phase unfold and I look forward to working with the stakeholders to develop a plan that truly can be transformative.”

The Blue Zones approach is based on their 25 years of research and scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health and happiness, from the longest-living communities in the world, and their work transforming well-being at the population level in more than 75 communities across the country. During the Ignite phase of the partnership, Blue Zones will assess the current state of the Bucks area community’s well-being through engagement and education with local leaders and community members, culminating in recommendations for a full-scale transformation of the area.

Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones and Co-founder of Blue Zones Project, said, “We are looking forward to partnering with Bucks area leaders in this shared vision of a stronger, more resilient future for the region. Research shows investing in well-being at the community level brings exponential returns in healthier and happier people, a better and more productive workforce, and a stronger economy, but it takes pioneering community leaders to come together and champion the cause.”

Blue Zones Ignite Bucks Area includes Bristol Township, Bristol Borough, Falls Township, Tullytown Borough, Morrisville Borough, Lower Makefield Township, Yardley Borough, Newtown Township, Newtown Borough, Upper Makefield Township, Solebury Township, New Hope Borough, Buckingham Township, Doylestown Township, Doylestown Borough, Plumstead Township, New Britain Township, New Britain Borough and Chalfont Borough.

Kimberly Everett, BCHIP Executive Director said, “BCHIP is looking forward to working with Senator Santarsiero and the Blue Zone team to identify opportunities and new collaborations that will improve the health and wellbeing of our community.”

Immediately following the kickoff announcement, the Blue Zones Ignite Steering Committee convened for their first meeting.  The Steering Committee is comprised of the area’s healthcare, educational, business and community and infrastructure planning leaders.

“We’ve seen great enthusiasm from community partners about this assessment,” continued Sen. Santarsiero.  “Everyone is excited to get started and work together to improve our community.  Throughout the summer, we’ll be engaging residents of the 10th District in conversations to learn more about the initiative and to solicit feedback.”

Senator Santarsiero will host a telephone town hall with BCHIP and Blue Zones at 7pm on July 9th to introduce the project to tens of thousands of residents across the Bucks area.  Residents in the project area can register to receive the call to join the July 9th telephone town hall at www.senatorstevesantarsiero.com/tth.


About Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership (BCHIP)

BCHIP seeks to provide a leadership role in Bucks County through a collaborative approach to address gaps in health services and to improve the health status of the community. BCHIP was established over 25 years ago with support from our Bucks County Hospitals, The Bucks County Department of Health and the Bucks County Medical Society with a shared vision of improving the health in Bucks County. These organizations continue to identify opportunities to coordinate their efforts to identify gaps in services and identify resources to address these gaps.

About Blue Zones®

Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live better, longer. The company’s work is rooted in the identification, explorations, and research done by National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner of the blue zones regions around the world, where people live extraordinarily long and/or happy lives. The original research and findings were released in Buettner’s bestselling books “The Blue Zones Solution,” “The Blue Zones of Happiness,” “The Blue Zones,” “Thrive,” and “Blue Zones Kitchen” – all published by National Geographic books. Using original Blue Zones research, Blue Zones works with cities and counties to make healthy choices easier through permanent and semi-permanent changes to our human-made surroundings. Participating communities have experienced double-digit drops in obesity and tobacco use and have saved millions of dollars in health care costs. For more information, visit bluezones.com.