Wallowa Memorial Hospital has been designated a Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite by Blue Zones Project Oregon. The honor was celebrated in a private reception April 4.

Blue Zones Project Oregon is a statewide well-being improvement program aimed at making the healthy choice the easy choice in workplaces and communities.

“It’s huge for this hospital and for this community, and Blues Zones Project has offered a lot of resources to help with our employee wellness programs, “ said Margaret Lamm, director of nutritional services at the hospital and a member of the CommitToBeFit wellness committee.

Blue Zones Project Oregon recognized Wallowa Memorial Hospital for its commitment to a growing list of wellness programs and policies that include plant-based options in its cafeteria, a quiet space for staff to downshift, workstations that allow sitting or standing, walking programs with incentives to participate and free annual biometric screenings. When Blue Zones Project representatives came to the hospital to present the award, they offered a series of workshops to help employees identify their unique gifts and life’s purpose.

“The Blue Zones philosophy addresses all aspects of well-being, including mental, social, physical, nutritional and spiritual,” said Wallowa Memorial Hospital human resources director Linda Childers, also a member of the CommitToBeFit wellness committee, who spearheaded the application process to earn Blue Zones Project Approved status.

“Wallowa Memorial Hospital has an impressive dedication to employee as well as community health and well-being and this takes their already strong wellness program to the next level,” said Aaron Patnode, Blue Zones Project Oregon executive director. “Together with lead funder Cambia Health Foundation and in support of the Oregon Healthiest State Initiative, our goal is to transform the settings that influence people’s day to day health. When worksites like Wallowa Memorial Hospital get involved, the benefit to employees is profound.”

Wallowa Memorial Hospital’s wellness program was established in 2007 and has continued to grow.

“This designation as a Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite is a validation of all the work that’s gone into promoting healthy lifestyle choices to our employees,” said hospital CEO Larry Davy.

Blue Zones Project is brought to Oregon through leadership funding by Cambia Health Foundation in support of Oregon Healthiest State.

Members of the Wallowa Memorial Hospital wellness committee, from left, Gwen Thomas, Margaret Lamm, Linda Childers, Erica DeWeber and Chantelle Johnson, hold the framed certificate earned from the Blue Zones Project.

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