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September 22, 2023

Nashville Health Care Council Hosts National Health and Well-Being Experts

Nashville Health Care Council Hosts National Health and Well-Being Experts
by Nashville Health Care Council | May 15, 2014

Today, the Nashville Health Care Council hosted Dan BuettnerNew York Times best-selling author of Blue Zones, and Dr. Dean Ornish, founder and president, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, for a discussion on health and well-being. Dr. Wayne Riley, adjunct professor, Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management, moderated the conversation, and Ben Leedle, president and CEO, Healthways, provided opening remarks.

“We’ve learned that environment plays a vital role in creating a healthier lifestyle. Surrounding oneself with natural opportunities for better health choices empowers a person to make the effort to lead a healthy life,” Buettner said.

Buettner pointed out that, in addition to eating healthy food and getting plenty of exercise, people in the healthiest communities in the world have a sense of purpose and a strong social network.

“Over the years, we have reexamined the factors that incentivize a person to make good, healthy decisions. Fear is not a sustainable motivator – what enables people to make sustainable life changes is not fear of dying but joy of living,” said Ornish.

Additionally, Ornish highlighted nutrition, fitness, love and support, and stress management as key factors in a person’s health and well-being.

View event photos on Flickr.

Photo credit: (c) 2014, Donn Jones.


The pair gave Council executives insight on best practices to health and longevity, underscoring public policy strategies to improve the health of communities, and the transformative impact of choice on controlling health care costs.

“In Nashville, we are seeing collaborative efforts among government and business leaders to encourage and enable healthier living. The improvement of the health of our community will be a critical piece to ensure Nashville’s future growth and prosperity,” said Council President Caroline Young.

Today’s program was presented by Healthier Tennessee, an initiative of the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness that strives to increase the number of Tennesseans who are physically active for at least 30 minutes five times a week, promote a healthy diet, and reduce the number of people who use tobacco. Supporting sponsor was Adams and Reese.


About Dan Buettner

Dan Buettner is a National Geographic Fellow, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Blue Zones®. Buettner’s National Geographic cover story on longevity, “The Secrets of Living Longer,” was one of its top-selling issues in history and a made him a finalist for a National Magazine Award. His books The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest (2008) and Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way (2010) appeared on many best-seller lists and were both featured on Oprah.

About Dean Ornish

Dean Ornish is the founder and president of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. For more than 35 years, he has directed clinical research demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease without drugs or surgery. Ornish was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and by President Barack Obama to the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

About the Nashville Health Care Council

The Nashville Health Care Council, founded in 1995 as an affiliate of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is an association of health care industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital. Worldwide, Nashville’s health care industry generates more than 400,000 jobs and $70 billion in annual revenue. The industry is Nashville’s largest and fastest growing employer. For more information on the Council, please visit

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