Public private partnerships (P3s) in health are one of the most promising models of intervention in delivering innovative, successful and sustainable health initiatives. By combining public interest and need with private sector cutting edge entrepreneurial approaches, P3s have catalyzed new approaches in the way public health achieves its mission. A model practice of how this is done is best seen in the national efforts of the Blue Zones Project (BZP). BZP is a community-focused health promotion initiative that leverages policy-based approaches designed to impact social and environmental factors to enable healthy choices to be the easy choice.
The Blue Zones Project was born out of National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner’s eight-year examination of communities across the globe where people were found to be healthier, happier and living longer. A team of researchers confirmed the common characteristics that enable these communities to support healthier outcomes. As a result of this research, BZP has partnered with multiple public and private sector organizations from public health departments to health care systems to corporations to philanthropic organization in demonstrating how this intervention model can have measurable impact in lowering healthcare costs, improving health outcomes and supporting enhanced community livability. These results reinforce the need for P3s in strengthening the capacity of public health in fulfilling its mission in supporting healthier people and communities.