Michigan Scenary

Free Healthy Muskegon App Connects Local Parks and Trails to Health

MUSKEGON, Mich., Oct. 1, 2018Healthy Muskegon is a community-based project and interactive mobile app that helps connect Muskegon residents and visitors alike to local parks and trails, while integrating health resources, such as health clinics, farmer’s markets and community coalitions, to generate a holistic approach to health.

Funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Healthy Muskegon is led by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association (mParks) and includes contributions from local organizations such as the 1in21 Initiative, Muskegon Health Department and MCC Lakeshore Fitness.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is committed to improving the health of Michigan citizens and proud to partner with such great organizations that share this same affinity for healthy communities,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president of Strategy, Government and Public Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Healthy Muskegon is an opportunity to create a positive impact on this community by increasing knowledge of and access to community resources that help support healthy habits.”

The goal of Healthy Muskegon is to connect public spaces such as parks, trails and recreation facilities, to public health resources like healthcare services, farmers markets and other healthy food options, and allied community health organizations, to encourage Muskegon residents to access resources available in the community. Healthy Muskegon has the potential to be used in health care settings with providers and patients as a tool to improve overall health. The idea of “prescribing nature” is relatively new but has been widely successful in other parts of the country as part of a holistic plan of care.

“While various walking and trail apps exist, the function to search by amenities and/or activities is a feature exclusive to Healthy Muskegon,” said Kari L. Woloszyk, health and wellness coordinator at mParks. “What makes Healthy Muskegon a unique app is that it integrates public parks and trails with community health resources. It’s a diverse, all-inclusive app that is unlike any other. It is a community-focused resource for all Muskegon residents and visitors alike to utilize.”

Healthy Muskegon is a free app available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The app offers simplicity and user-friendly navigation through four tabs: Parks, Activities, Resources and About.

“The app was developed with community members and organizations to be an organic and tailored app specific to the Muskegon Community, evident in the extensive resources provided that range from community gardens to veterans’ health to local walking groups and community coalitions,” said Woloszyk.

To learn more, visit www.mparks.org/healthandwellness or contact healthyparks@mparks.org.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. In 2018, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan received the J.D. Power Award for “Highest Member Satisfaction Among Commercial Health Plans in Michigan.”  For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.

Founded in 1935, the Michigan Recreation and Park Association provides advocacy, resources and professional development opportunities to a devoted and diverse membership. A non-profit statewide association, mParks represents nearly 3,000 park and recreation professionals dedicated to creating community through people, parks and programs. Learn more at www.mParks.org.

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