NORTH HAWAII — Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) celebrated their recognition as Blue Zones Project Approved worksites in North Hawaii earlier this month.
With these three additions, 14 worksites in North Hawaii are now Blue Zones Project Approved. This includes four grocery stores, eight restaurants, six schools and five faith-based organizations.
Brought to Hawaii through an innovative sponsorship by HMSA, Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to lifestyle, environment, policy and social networks. Since selected in 2015, the North Hawaii community has had more than 6,800 individuals engage in the Blue Zones Project.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, founded in 1965, is the oldest hotel on the Kohala Coast and was recently inducted as a Historic Hotel of America. It has more than 500 employees and many policies and initiatives that support the well-being of their staff. One is the focus on healthier options with Blue Zones inspired dishes in the employee cafeteria. Employees can also choose to support local agriculture by purchasing fresh feast boxes of local produce from Adaptations Inc. that’s delivered to the hotel weekly.
“Mauna Kea Beach Hotel leadership truly cares about the well-being of their employees, who have opportunities to engage in social networks at work and outside of work. Thanks to the fantastic HR team, employees can also participate in on-site health fair events,” said Lee-Ann Heely, organization lead of the Blue Zones Project.
A newly renamed and renovated hotel, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is also a new Blue Zones Project Approved worksite. The Westin Well-being Movement supports wellness programs for guests and staff under Westin’s six brand pillars: Feel Well, Work Well, Move Well, Eat Well, Sleep Well and Play Well. The Westin Hapuna supports their approximately 400 employees by hosting health fairs and supporting employee groups that do well-being activities like walking and paddling.
NHCH is the newest organization to become Blue Zones Project approved. Their vision and mission is prominently displayed throughout the hospital, and they provide many spaces for guests and employees to relax and reflect. The hospital also hosted a healthy cooking demo in March for their employees.
“North Hawaii Community Hospital is pleased to join the Blue Zones Project as an approved worksite. As a health care provider, it is important for us to be a Blue Zones Project leader for our employees as well as our community,” said Cindy Kamikawa, the hospital’s president. “All of our small changes together can help make Hawaii an even better place for all of us to live, work and play.”