Mount Mercy supports Healthiest State Initiative and Blue Zone Project

As Iowa gears up to participate in the Healthiest State Initiative and earn Cedar Rapids a placement in the Blue Zone Project, Mount Mercy is raising the level of awareness and campus support to help organizers reach their goal of becoming the healthiest state in the country by 2016.

The city of Cedar Rapids is a candidate to be selected as a Blue Zone community, and if chosen, would be awarded funds to help implement new programs to increase the quality of life in the area. Only 10 Blue Zone communities will be selected. A Blue Zone community is chosen based on the level of support for the initiative from the people who live there. The Healthiest State Initiative and Blue Zone Project is a move to make Iowa one of the healthiest states in the country – psychically, emotionally and mentally.

Eighty-four Iowa communities submitted an initial statement of interest to be considered a Blue Zone community. Cedar Rapids was one of the 58 communities selected to move forward with a full application. Now the work begins for individuals who live and work in the Cedar Rapids area to earn the status of a Blue Zone!

Mount Mercy seeks to help this grassroots effort and raise the level of support for this initiative. The campus community will benefit if Cedar Rapids is selected as a Blue Zone Community. Funding will be provided to improve bike and walking trails, create areas for fitness activities, work with restaurants to develop healthier menu options, and create education and social programs geared toward healthy living.

Steps you can take to ensure Cedar Rapids is selected as a Blue Zone community:

The Blue Zone name comes from the book "The Blue Zones Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest," by Dan Buettner.

For more information on the Healthiest State Initiative, visit You can also contact Mount Mercy's Coordinator of Recreation & Wellness Programs Brenda Steinke, at 

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