Friday, May 31, 2013

Local health leaders team up to bring message of health, wellness and longevity to Springfield

Dan Buettner, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Blue Zones” will hold free discussions on living well 

For immediate release 
Springfield, MO, May 31, 2013 – What causes some populations of people to live longer, healthier lives than others? Author Dan Buettner, a National Geographic fellow, has traveled the planet to uncover the secrets of longevity and happiness, distilling what he learned down to the Power 9® – the nine principles that have helped people in certain areas of the planet, known as Blue Zones, achieve this lifestyle. 

Thanks to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri, CoxHealth and Mercy, Dan will bring his inspiring message about the Blue Zones way of life to Springfield on Tuesday, June 11. He’ll speak for free to the public at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the Drury University Campus, 935 N. Summit, in Springfield. The event begins with a book signing and health fair at 3 p.m., and is followed by the presentation “Blue Zones® – the Secrets of Living Longer” at 4 p.m. Registration is requested but is not required; call 417-269-INFO or 417-820-8888. 

National and local studies consistently show that obesity, heart disease and diabetes are at epidemic levels in the Ozarks and across the U.S. Dan’s message of nine simple steps that can improve your quality of life is designed to encourage us all to put health first. 

“The Blue Zones principles are consistent with our mission to improve the lives of the people we serve and the health of our communities,” said Steve Martenet, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri. "We are proud to sponsor bringing Dan Buettner to the Springfield community.” 

“Dan’s research has discovered that it takes a community making deliberate environmental and lifestyle choices for individuals to see meaningful change in their health and wellness,” said Brian Williams, vice president at CoxHealth. “We believe Dan’s visit will help Springfield begin this conversation and set us on the road to the Blue Zones way of life.” 

“As a practicing physician, I know that living a long life is great, but even better is living a long life that's active and vibrant well into those last years,” said Robert W. Steele, MD, president of Mercy Hospital Springfield. “What we learn from Dan Buettner's research is how possible that is for all of us; we just have to be willing to make a few changes to enjoy a richer, fuller life.” 

While he’s in town, Dan will also speak to business leaders about Blue Zones principles, and how encouraging these simple lifestyle changes in employees can be the “Making of a Healthy City.” Business leaders can register to attend this presentation, scheduled for 7:30 a.m., in the Bass Pro White River Conference Center, 600 W. Sunshine, by visiting or, or calling 417-269-INFO or 417-820-8888. 

For more information about Blue Zones and the Power 9®, visit