Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, is now the now first Immokalee-based business to become a Blue Zones Project Approved™ worksite. A recognition ceremony and ribbon cutting took place on Feb. 16 at the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee. In attendance were Dr. Allen Weiss, MD, president and CEO of the NCH Healthcare System for Collier County; Dawn Montecalvo, president of the Guadalupe Center; Bill Barnett, mayor of Naples; and other local officials.
“The Guadalupe Center cares deeply for the health and well-being of our staff, our children and our community,” stated Montecalvo. “We chose to participate with Blue Zones Project to improve our policies and activities so that our families have healthy options. Our mission statement is ‘breaking the cycle of poverty through education’ and we’ve found that health issues are much more likely to develop for families living in poverty due to lack of access to healthy choices. Our children deserve the chance to live well.”
To become a Blue Zones Project Approved™ worksite, Guadalupe Center began hosting walking meetings to encourage their employees to move more during the day, expanded an Edible Garden, which allows employees and students to connect with nature and relieve stress, as well as to encourage healthy eating choices with the organically grown fruits and vegetables. In addition, staff members are invited to attend yoga classes on Wednesday afternoons.
They join more than 123 other area companies involved with Blue Zones Project, a community-by-community, well-being improvement initiative designed to support longer, better lives through permanent changes to environment, policy, and social networks. Principles are based on lifestyles in Blue Zones® areas, which are pockets of the world where people live longer with less chronic disease and higher quality of life.
Brought to Southwest Florida by NCH Healthcare System, in collaboration with Sharecare®, Inc. and Blue Zones, LLC, Blue Zones Project is a vital part of Southwest Florida’s well-being improvement initiative that encourages changes in the community that lead to healthier options. For more information about Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida, visit southwestflorida.bluezonesproject.com.
About Guadalupe Center
Guadalupe Center is a purpose-driven, nonprofit organization with proven results in creating endless possibilities for the students of Immokalee through education and fostering personal and academic success that leads to economic independence. With a focus on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, Guadalupe Center is proud of the children’s accomplishments: 94% exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100% of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 90% graduated with a post-secondary degree.
About NCH Healthcare System
The NCH Healthcare System is a not-for-profit, multi-facility healthcare system located in Naples, Florida, United States. The System is more than just two hospitals (referred to as the NCH Downtown Naples Hospital, and NCH North Naples Hospital) with a total of 716 beds. The NCH Healthcare System is an alliance of 775 physicians and medical facilities in dozens of locations throughout Collier County and southwest Florida. The services offered by the NCH Healthcare System are extensive. Inpatient services include: medical, surgical, cardiac, orthopedic, obstetric, pediatric, rehabilitative, psychiatric, oncology, emergency treatment, and diagnostics. Outpatient services include: rehabilitation, home care, urgent care, wound healing, and more. This year the system had 39,000 admissions, 111,000 emergency room visits, 3,600 births, 405 open heart surgeries, 11,800 surgical procedures, and 4,300 employee colleagues. NCH is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. NCH’s mission is to help everyone live a longer, happier, healthier life. NCH is sponsoring the Blue Zones Project for Southwest Florida. For more information, visit NCHmd.org.
Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile, where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs, and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest, and most productive life. With award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols, and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare helps providers, employers, and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com.
About Blue Zones Project
Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is inspired by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five regions of the world—or Blue Zones®—with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Currently, 42 communities in nine states have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 3.3 million Americans nationwide. The movement includes three beach cities in California; 15 cities in Iowa; Albert Lea, Minnesota; the city of Fort Worth; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Blue Zones Project is an exclusive partnership between Blue Zones and Sharecare. For more information, visit bluezonesproject.com.