(Beaver Dam) Saint Katharine Drexel Parish is the most recent faith-based community to become Blue Zones Project Approved in Dodge County and the first in Beaver Dam. The designation was earned by parishioners forming a wellness committee who sought out ways to bring greater well-being to the congregation and the community they serve. The parish also optimized the physical environment and added well-being programming while incorporating more healthy food and movement in their regular gatherings. Father Mike Erwin says that it is enlightening to see people embrace this initiative and that Blue Zones is helping speed it up, organize it and name it. The Blue Zones Project, sponsored by the Beaver Dam Community Hospital, is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to environment, policy, and social networks.
Photo (Left to Right): Mary Anne Zimmerlee, St. Katharine Drexel Parish Wellness Committee; Kim Miller, President and CEO of Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc.; Leslie Covell Hershberger, Blue Zones Project Community Program Manager; Cindy Spangler, St. Katharine Drexel Parish Wellness Committee, Father Mike Erwin, St. Katharine Drexel Pastor; Kim Lafler, St. Katharine Drexel Parish Wellness Committee; Mary Ann Firehammer, St. Katharine Drexel Parish Wellness Committee; Ya-Fen Szczesny, St. Katharine Drexel Parish Nurse and Wellness Committee