Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and 20 congregations from the Grand Rapids area have teamed up to make this summer one of healthy behaviors, starting this weekend at the kickoff for the 2014 incentive-based Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge. In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, Kent County, Kalamazoo-Muskegon MI Black Nurses Association and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the 12-week long challenge starts Saturday, May 31 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center at 8 a.m. and runs through August 23.
The program focuses on the Latino and African American faith-based communities, as these populations are at high risk for preventable, chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. According to a Kent County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, only 21.4 percent of African American and 22.9 percent of Hispanic Kent County residents had a routine medical checkup in the past year, putting them at higher risk for illness and disease. African Americans had the poorest overall health in Kent County, 35 percent were obese and 38 percent were smokers. African Americans also had the highest mortality rates for heart disease and cancer in the county.
Congregations enrolled in the Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge gain points by:
The Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge, formerly Body & Soul and the Blues Community Challenge, is an incentive-based wellness program reinforcing BCBSM’s commitment to reducing health disparities in diverse communities.
“We are thrilled to bring the Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge to West Michigan as an extension of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s ongoing commitment to the community to help motivate people to take charge of their health,” said Cle Jackson, senior community liaison, BCBSM. “We are looking forward to working with the congregations and seeing their progress through this experience”
The following congregations have registered to participate in the Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge:
Small church size category (1-100 regularly participating adults):
Medium church size category (101-250 regularly participating adults):
Large church size category (251-2000 regularly participating adults):
The winners of the challenge will be announced at the award ceremony on August 23 at the True Light Baptist Church Community Health and Wellness Expo in Grand Rapids at 9 a.m.
Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan