Being blue

It was in September 2021 – almost exactly two years ago – that I helped host a Blue Zones kick off along with our partners from Multicare and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

We were in the throes of the pandemic, so our in-person event became a virtual broadcast from our television studio.  But it began the detailed planning and preparation for the Parkland Spanaway Blue Zone Project.

I’ve been familiar with Blue Zones for years, first learning about it from Tarrant County Texas County Judge (equivalent to County Executive) Glen Whitley in Fort Worth.  I initially thought it was all about living longer and would focus on diet and exercise.  After diving in, while those are key elements, it is also about living better – emphasizing the importance of community and purpose! 

And earlier this month, a new Netflix documentary series was released titled “Living to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones.”  It is a tremendous visual presentation of the Blue Zones communities and what Dan Buettner learned from his research and visits.

I admit I binge watched the entire Netflix series in one sitting! I just couldn’t pull myself away from the fascinating details, insightful interviews, and beautiful scenery of lovely Blue Zones locales.  My jaw dropped watching the 100-year-old Costa Rican cowboy!

I came away inspired and motivated!  I have been working to apply many of the principles in my life – and have seen some successes!

So, I was very excited to be part of the official community Kick Off for the Parkland Spanaway Blue Zones Project last Saturday night, along with Councilmember Marty Campbell. 

It was a great gathering hosted by our local Blue Zones team under the leadership of Tono Sablan.  Their community is uniquely positioned to lead the way for Pierce County and teach us all about the power of intention, connections, and smart choices.

I want to especially thank Bill Robertson from Multicare and Ketul Patel from Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. They have been stalwart partners from the very start and I’m grateful for the investment of their time, expertise, and funding to bring greater health and wellness to this community.

Many people in the County have also worked to bring this exciting project to our region.  I especially want to thank Steve O’Ban for being our point person with the steering committee.

So, the journey has begun – to Live Longer, Better in Parkland Spanaway!

I am also very excited to announce our Standing Ovation Award winners for 2023.  Please join me in congratulating the following people and teams.  You can read more about their award-winning work here.

Trish Crocker (Human Services)

Christina Rohila (Communications), Emile Ancelet, Jeff Barney, Rebecca Lee (Planning and Public Works)

Ken Rice, Russ Armstrong, Shelby Pressel (Emergency Management)

Quentin Brown (Finance)

Carol Mensah, Donn Falconer, Jason Gauthier, Larry Turk, Lindsay Hotchkiss, Mary Connolly, Matt Santelli, Robert Sheetz, (Human Services), Denise Marsyla, Laccie Hill, Marvey Erickson, Mike Lonergan, Sandra Moore, Savanna Young (Assessor-Treasurer’s Office) Kari Moore (Communications)

One last reminder: our next Town Hall will be Thursday, September 21 at noon.  I’ve already received quite a few questions, but I invite you to submit yours at this link.

Thanks for reading,