Healthy People in Healthy Communities is the premier conference on Lifestyle Medicine and the Built Environment. In 2017, we will focus on Blue Zone Area Science and Health for public health Practice in the 21st century.

To meet the needs of health care and public health professionals, HPHC is accredited for up to 11 Continuing Professional Education hours for a wide range of disciplines. Learn more!


On March 2-3, 2017, the 44th Annual Healthy People in Healthy Communities Conference will host the First International Symposium on Blue Zone Area Science & Health. In the midst of celebrating the School of Public Health’s 50th anniversary, the 2017 Conference as an opportunity to honor our past and embrace the future of public health. For the first time, research teams from the five demographically and epidemiologically confirmed blue zone regions will converge under the same roof to share their findings, and draw present day application for modern communities.  With this Symposium we want to underline the university’s legacy of promoting health, longevity and wholeness, while creating a platform for exploring the role of blue zone areas as a paradigm for public health practice.  We’ll strive to better understand the drivers of health and vitality for effective, multi-disciplinary public health action aimed at improving conditions that make us healthy. 


Session 1: Blue Zone Area Science: The-State-of-the-Art

What are the latest research and findings on blue zone areas in Sardinia, Ikaria, Okinawa, Nicoya, and Loma Linda? Technical issues: definitions, demographics, geographic vs. population-based zones, additional blue zone areas, etc. For the first time in the same room, researchers studying each of the five demographically and epidemiologically confirmed blue zone areas will present their most recent information.

Session 2: Deciphering the Blue Zone Areas

This session will be devoted to uncovering the complex web of interconnected biological (genetic and epigenetic factors), behavioral (lifestyle), environmental and societal factors common throughout each blue zone area that lead to longevity and healthy ageing. Integrative studies are beginning to emerge which examine the dynamic interplay of these factors across the course of life; now we want to know what commonalities and unique characteristics have been identified and how their essence can be extrapolated to cultivate practical solutions. With the determinants manifesting differently in each place, how do we translate the findings into practice? A better understanding of blue zone areas as exemplars of exceptional health and wellbeing can benefit both clinical practice and public health action aimed at addressing adverse conditions in vulnerable communities.

Session 3: Public Health 3.0 - Blue Zone Areas as a Paradigm Shift for Public Health Practice

The implications of blue zone area research for public health practice will be discussed within the futuristic context of what public health fore thinkers are referring to as “Public Health 3.0” or a “public health of consequence” that engages in action to improve conditions that make us healthy.  Can we gain insight from the blue zone areas to help us deal with present issues? Can current systems can be modeled according to these demographic outliers? The concept of blue zone areas creates value to inform us about what public health should be striving towards in the 21st century. 

Blue Zone Expo

Nearly 1,000 health care professionals are expected to participate in the 2017 Healthy People in Healthy Communities Expo! Happening during the lunch hour, participants will explore fascinating exhibits, art installations, music and regional heritage specific to each of the blue zone areas These hands on activities offer abundant opportunities to learn the fundamentals of how to build Healthy Communities by design!

Author Meet & Greet Book Signings! Located at the Conference Book Store, HPHC speakers will be available to sign their books! Some books are complimentary while supplies last, and others are significantly reduced for conference attendees!

Networking Reception

Get to know your fellow conference attendees through a fun and interactive reception from 5:00-6:30 PM March 2nd on the Drayson Center Poolside Lawn. Entertainment line up to be announced. It’ll be an event worth attending!