CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) RESOURCE CENTER Read More

Blue Zones - Homepage

Introduction to Blue Zones Project

The secret to living longer and better can be found in the simple things we all do every day, like the foods we eat, the company we keep, how we move and our overall outlook on life. A community-led well-being initiative called Blue Zones Project is helping people right here in our community work together to turn the settings where we spend most of our time into places where we can easily walk and bike outdoors, find more healthy food options, live a more purposeful life, and build more connections with one another. By bringing residents, worksites, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and faith-based organizations together, Blue Zones Project is designed to unite communities behind a common goal: transforming environments so there are more ways to make healthy choices easier. Together we can make the Umpqua Valley an even better place to live, work, learn, play and pray!

HISTORY OF BLUE ZONES

National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner, along with a team of demographers, studied the places around the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians. From Sardinia, Italy, to Okinawa, Japan, to Loma Linda, California, people are living vibrant, active lives well into their hundreds. Buettner calls these areas Blue Zones. Buettner's research, along with a global longevity study, has evolved into a global movement that's inspiring people to live longer, more active lives with lower rates of chronic disease.

TAKE THE #LIVELONGERBETTERUMPQUA PLEDGE

Pledge now to live a longer, better life.
Pledge now to have more energy, feel stronger, and become healthier.
Pledge now to meet new people and nurture supportive friendships.
Pledge now to discover your purpose and put it to work.
Pledge now to be the change that makes our community a better place to live.

Pledge Here

Power Circle

The Power 9 is a cross-cultural distillation of well-being best-practices collected from the five Blue Zones around the globe discovered by a team of medical researchers, anthropologists, demographers, and epidemiologists. Here are the nine evidence-based, common denominators, also known as The Power 9.
Power 9

MEET THE TEAM

Autumn Mann
Autumn Mann, Wellness Coordinator (United Communities AmeriCorps)
 connect@thriveumpqua.com

 Read Bio

BIO

Autumn Mann is a recent Public Health graduate from Pacific University, Oregon. Originally from the heart of the Rockies in Colorado, they fell in love with the PNW due to its endless beauty, opportunities, and the state's health-driven values. As a AmeriCorps member, they are serving our community as the Thrive Umpqua Wellness Coordinator. Autumn's favorite Power 9 is Move Naturally. She puts it into practice by riding her bike to work whenever possible! She is excited to learn, to grow, and alongside our partners continue to encourage others' informed health decisions.

 Close

Mimi Ryan
Magdy El-badry, Food Retail Lead

 magdy@thriveumpqua.com

 Read Bio

BIO

Magdy El-badry joined the Thrive Umpqua team to encourage the retail sector to promote healthier lifestyles. Working for the largest natural food distributor in the country, he spent the last six year distributing healthy food to all the natural food stores in Southern Oregon. He has also been a long time advocate for plant-slanting, low processed foods, and believes food should be close to its natural state. He, along with his wife, love growing food in a small space and cooking plant-based food.

 Close

Juliete Palenshus
Juliete Palenshus, Community Engagement Director
 juliete@thriveumpqua.com

 Read Bio

BIO

Juliete is committed to the achievement of a vibrant and thriving community. She serves as a community leader and champion for well-being in her roles as the Community Engagement Director for Blue Zones Project-Umpqua, Executive Director of UC-VEG, the Community Advisory Council Vice Chair for the Umpqua Health Alliance, and a member of the Umpqua Valley Arts Association Board of Directors and 2018 Summer Arts Festival Chair. Graduating with honors from Central Washington University, Juliete earned a degree in International Relations, with minors in Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Environmental Studies. Her professional background includes government, social services, and nonprofit management. She has had the privilege of traveling extensively and holds the breadth of experience gained from her national and international travels as invaluable. Juliete enjoys singing, spending time on the Umpqua rivers, yoga in the park, social justice, bringing people together, eating delicious plant-based foods, and laughing with her friends and family.

 Close

John Dimof
John Dimof, Strategic Partnerships Director
 john@thriveumpqua.com

 Read Bio

BIO

John Dimof is the Strategy and Partnership Director for Blue Zones Project, Umpqua. Over the past three years he has worked with over 60 organizations in the Umpqua region focusing on supporting their well-being efforts. Developing innovative models to educate the community in preventative lifestyle medicine, he founded and is current President of a 501-c3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the health of Douglas County residents. His history includes 9 years PNW Regional Director for an international non-profit, international trainer, construction manager for collaborative community projects, and certifications in nutrition from PCRM, and the Center for Nutritional Studies.

 Close

Jessica Hand
Jessica Hand, Executive Director

 jessica@thriveumpqua.com

 Read Bio

BIO

Jessica is proud of her rich heritage in the Umpqua region where her ancestors started ranching along the North Umpqua River in the mid 1800’s. During Jessica’s education and early years of her career, she had the opportunity to experience the positive impact of living in two Blue Zone communities, Loma Linda and the Beach Cities. Jessica graduated from Loma Linda University with honors in a Master of Public Health and also majored in Health Promotion/Marketing. Over the last 11 years, Jessica managed teams of up to 15 staff members including health educators, worksite wellness directors, fitness specialists and public health/registered dietitian interns in both community health and worksite wellness programs spanning a variety of sectors including manufacturing and healthcare. She has received additional training as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Her past work experience includes roles as Community Health Outreach Aide, Health Education Manager, Wellness Program Director, Director of Wellness Strategy and Community Program Manager.

 Close