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The Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu Recertified as a Blue Zones Project Certified Worksite

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The Queen’s Medical Center – West O‘ahu is pleased to announce that it has been recertified as a Blue Zones Project Certified Worksite.  The distinction is effective from 2023-2025.

In 2019, Queen’s-West Oahu earned the distinction of being only the second health care facility in the nation to become a Blue Zones Project Certified Worksite. Blue Zones Project in Hawai‘i is an initiative that helps to improve the health and well-being of a community by comprehensively changing a community’s environment.

Blue Zones Project is brought to Hawai‘i by Hawai‘i Medical Service Association (HMSA) to help people easily incorporate healthy habits in the places they live, work and play. “HMSA is proud to partner with Blue Zones Project to make healthy options more accessible across the state,” said Kathy Morimoto, vice president of clinical integration and community health. “The Queen’s Medical Center West O‘ahu is a beacon of health and healing. We celebrate their commitment to improving well-being for a flourishing West O‘ahu community. 

Through efforts in organizations like Queen’s – West O‘ahu, the initiative is based on the best practices of the blue zones – the regions in the world where people live the longest and healthiest. The blue zones regions include Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy and Loma Linda, California.

Queen’s – West O‘ahu worked diligently to become a recertified worksite through the successful completion of some of these well-being best practices:

  • Launched an employee resiliency program to help caregivers manage stress.  Topics include meditation, spiritual and emotional care, physician assistance program, and tools for self-care.
  • Designed and opened the Ho‘okipa Lanai in 2021 on the 3rd floor of the hospital, a space for employees to take breaks, rejuvenate, and downshift in an outdoor environment.
  • Queen’s-West Oahu dining room offers Blue Zones-inspired dishes, half-size portions, nutrition information, and greater quantities of beverages such as sparkling water and zero calorie drinks.
  • Introduction of moais, or groups of people who support and encourage each other, in areas such as hula, stretching, and leadership training with more than 130 employees and counting having completed a 10-week course.

On Wednesday, March 29, Queen’s-West celebrated its recertification with an Employee Wellness Event on campus which included wellness booths, employee education activities, healthy snacks, prize giveaways, and more.

“We will always prioritize the health and well-being of our employees, and we continue to look for innovative ways to support community health and improve social determinants of

health,” said Darlena Chadwick, MBA, MSN, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer of The Queen’s Health System.  “With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current social challenges facing our community, we are focusing on the evolving health needs of our people which include mental health, food security, and access to high quality care.”

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