Local Blue Zones Project team members announced

Staff report
Brandon Martin, left, Sarah Shores and Ashton Gabbart were recently announced as the team members for Blue Zones Project - Durant.

DURANT - Blue Zones Project, 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, recently announced that it has filled positions on its team for the Blue Zones Project - Durant initiative.

Brandon Martin has been named community program manager and organization lead, while Sarah Shores will serve as policy lead and Ashton Gabbart is the marketing and engagement lead.

The local team will implement programs and principles as Durant works to achieve Blue Zones Community certification.

Earlier this year, Durant was named the 51st Blue Zones Project community in North America and the second in Oklahoma, joining Pottawatomie County.

Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is based on research by author Dan Buettner, who identified five cultures of the world (dubbed blue zones) with the highest concentration of people living to age 100 or older.

The project incorporates Buettner's findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs intended to move communities toward optimal health and well-being.

As part of the project, the city of Durant receives support from national experts to implement plans to improve the community’s well-being.

Martin, formerly with AllianceHealth Durant, said, “Many community leaders and engaged citizens are working on multiple projects and initiatives to bring positive change and improved well-being to our community. Being selected as a Blue Zones Project demonstration site in Oklahoma is a result of the community’s motivation and enthusiasm for a better Durant.”

Additional information is available at bluezonesproject.com.