Summit Daily invites public to discuss next steps for improving community health | SummitDaily.com

Summit Daily invites public to discuss next steps for improving community health

In February, over the course of a four-part series, the Summit Daily News explored a simple question: Why does Summit County have the highest life expectancy in the country on average? The answer, perhaps, wasn't a jaw-dropper: Medical experts explained that Summit County residents tend to be affluent, educated, physically active, socially engaged and possibly genetically gifted. They don't smoke, they watch what they eat and they have access to high-quality health care. It's the splendor of Colorado's mountains that draws them here.

Despite our overall longevity here in Summit, we also learned that we don't come close to qualifying as a Blue Zone, those pockets of extreme life expectancy made famous by National Geographic explore Dan Buettner. Summit County also faces a host of significant public health challenges, including a high suicide rate, alcoholism, economic inequality and a lack of senior housing.

We may be No. 1 in the country when it comes to life expectancy, but like Buettner told the Daily in February, that's like being the valedictorian of summer school. What will it take for Summit County to become a Blue Zone, where it isn't uncommon for residents to live into their 100s?

For our latest What's Brewing event, the Summit Daily News wants your help in determining next steps in taking our community's health to the next level. Join us from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2 at the Summit County Community and Senior Center in Frisco for an open discussion. Email editor Ben Trollinger at btrollinger@summitdaily.com with questions.