Thursday, the Blue Zones Project, Pottawatomie County Steering Committee signed the Blue Zones Blueprint.

On Jan. 5, the Avedis Foundation and the Blue Zones Project announced Blue Zones Project Pottawatomie County, a community wellbeing improvement initiative. Blue Zones Project Pottawatomie County is bringing tools to help individuals across the county improve their well-being while implementing the full community transformation initiative starting in the city of Shawnee. This approach is intended to ignite a well-being movement across Pottawatomie County that will positively impact all county residents.

From January through March 2017, the Blue Zones Project team assessed Shawnee’s readiness. The Blue Zones Project team conducted a qualitative analysis of the community and met with local leaders across all sectors to learn about the strengths, challenges and opportunities for improving well-being in Shawnee. The teams findings are summarized in the Blue Zones Project Pottawatomie County Discovery Report for Shawnee. The findings in this report were coupled with expert- lead discovery meetings in the policy areas of built environment, food policy and tobacco policy to inform the Blueprint for the first year of Blue Zones Project implementation in Shawnee.

This Blueprint serves as a road map for the next three years as the Blue Zones Project works to make Pottawatomie County a healthier and happier place to live, work and play.

To learn more about the Blue Zones Project and ways to make the healthy choice the easy choice in your own life, attend the Blue Zones Project Kickoff Event. A fun, family-friendly event at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 at the Shawnee High School's PAAC (Shawnee Performing Arts and Athletic Center).

Special thanks to the Avedis Foundation and the Pottawatomie County Steering Committee Members and Leadership Team for their commitment and leadership.


Michelle Briggs, Avedis Foundation, President and CEO

Justin Erickson, City of Shawnee, City Manager


Linda Capps, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Vice Chairman

Richard Finley, City of Shawnee, Mayor, Chamber & SEDF Rep

Melissa Dennis, Pottawatomie County, County Commissioner

Mike Adcock, Avedis Foundation Board Chair & Bodard Trust

Greg Gallman, Shawnee Tubing Solutions, Plant Manager

Chuck Skillings, St. Anthony Hospital, President

Randy Waters, First National Bank & YMCA Board

Dr. April Grace, Shawnee Public Schools, Superintendent

Marty Lewis, Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Superintendent

Dr. Will Smallwood, Oklahoma Baptist University, Senior Vice President

Dr. Michael Scaperlanda, St. Gregory’s University, President

Brenda Potts, Pottawatomie County Health Department, Director

Sallie McLaughlin, Gateway to Prevention & Recovery, Executive Director

Tom Terry, Retired Professor, Historical Society, Garden Club, Master Gardener

Jonas Mata, TSET (Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust), Director of Programs


Justin Debruin, City of Shawnee, Community Development Director, Community Policy

Dr. Lepaine McHenry, Oklahoma Baptist University, Dean of Nursing, Schools

Ron Arthur, Shawnee Public Schools, Athletic Director, Schools

Joni Stanley, Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Evening Adult Coordinator, Schools

Linda Brown, St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital, Vice President of Support Services, Worksites

Josh Trimble, Oklahoma Baptist University, Director of Development, Worksites

Sarah Weeks, Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Agriculture Business Manager, Worksites

Richard Driskell, Firelake Discount Foods, Director, Restaurants & Grocery Stores

Lindsey Goodson, Community Market Food and Resource Center, Restaurants & Grocery Stores

David Henry, Family Promise Church, Pastor, Faith-based Organizations

Elaine Phillips, Family of Faith Church & School, Faith-based Organizations

Barbara Smith, Pottawatomie County Peddler’s and Bike Shop Owner, Individual Engagement

Kent Bush, Shawnee News Star, Publisher, Individual Engagement

Jill Spencer, State Farm Insurance, Citizen, Individual Engagement