DES MOINES, Iowa and NASHVILLE, Tenn. – December 23, 2011 – Healthways, Inc. (Nasdaq: HWAY) and Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® today announced the appointment of Mary Lawyer as the State Director of the Blue Zones Project™. The Blue Zones Project is a centerpiece of the Healthiest State Initiative, a community and business-led, government-endorsed statewide effort to engage Iowa citizens to improve their health and well-being.
As State Director of the Blue Zones Project, Lawyer will be responsible for building and leading the statewide Blue Zones Project team to improve well-being and longevity of Iowa citizens as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, Lawyer will identify, build and extend statewide relationships with employers, government, non-profits, industry associations and trade groups, schools, grocery stores, restaurants and health care providers to implement permanent changes to environment, policy, social networks and programs that drive well-being improvement across the state and specifically in selected Blue Zones communities.
Lawyer has been a managing director at Link, Campbell and Anderson (LPCA) Public Strategies since 2010. Before LPCA, Lawyer served as the director of Iowa's department of economic development as well as the director of the downtown community alliance and for Conlon construction in the private sector.
Eighty-four Iowa communities submitted a Statement of Interest and 58 have been invited to complete a full Application to become a Blue Zones Project demonstration site. Of these 58, up to ten communities will be announced as finalists on February 10, 2012. These selected communities will host site visits from February 27- March 16, 2012. This process will culminate with the selection of the initial demonstration sites in May 2012.
Wellmark, Inc. (www.wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Healthways is the leading provider of specialized, comprehensive solutions to help millions of people maintain or improve their health and well-being and, as a result, reduce overall costs. Healthways’ solutions are designed to help healthy individuals stay healthy, mitigate or eliminate lifestyle risk factors that can lead to disease and optimize care for those with chronic illness. Our proven, evidence-based programs provide highly specific and personalized interventions for each individual in a population, irrespective of age or health status, and are delivered to consumers by phone, mail, internet and face-to-face interactions, both domestically and internationally. Healthways also provides a national, fully accredited complementary and alternative Health Provider Network and a national Fitness Center Network, offering convenient access to individuals who seek health services outside of, and in conjunction with, the traditional healthcare system. For more information, please visit www.healthways.com.