Seventh Annual “Let’s Talk Health Week” Spotlights Community Health with Series of Wellness Events

Brianna Neace

| 4 min read

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 4, 2018 – Highlighting common health concerns within the Grand Rapids community with a series of wellness events, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s seventh annual Let’s Talk Health Week initiative will run from June 11-16. The events emphasize the importance of overall wellness and prevention to combat chronic illnesses disproportionately affecting minority groups. Home to a significant percentage of Latinos and African Americans, the Grand Rapids community faces a higher risk for health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes as these ailments often affect select ethnicities at a higher rate when compared to other groups. Healthy lifestyle habits have a substantial impact on the prevention of these diseases. Let’s Talk Health Week brings local leaders, advocates, agencies and members of faith-based organizations together to discuss common health disparities and empower individuals to take control of their overall wellness through proper nutrition, physical activity and preventive care. “Let’s Talk Health Week offers an interactive and unique approach to addressing health concerns related to Grand Rapids’ diverse population. The program provides an opportunity for various individuals and organizations to come together for a common cause and collaborate, educate and raise awareness around lifestyle changes that result in longer, happier lives,” said Cle J. Jackson, senior community liaison for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is pleased to work alongside the NAACP Branch of Greater Grand Rapids and many other dedicated and respected organizations to affect positive change for overall community health.” All Let’s Talk Health Week events are open to the public and offer fun and engaging ways to get active and talk about health choices. Raffle giveaways will take place throughout the program. Attendees also have the opportunity at each event they attend to submit their names into the grand-prize drawing to receive a Fitbit. The Grand-prize drawing will take place on Monday, June 18. For a complete list of the Let’s Talk Health Week events, see below:
  • June 11 – Blues Community Faith in Wellness Challenge Kick-Off Rally 6 p.m. | Baxter Community Center, 935 Baxter SE, Grand Rapids Hundreds of parishioners from 15 local churches get moving as part of their 10-week, Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge health journey. Participants will choose to engage in physical activity to kick-off their road to wellness.
  • June 11 – #MIKidsCan Cook Competition 7 – 8 p.m. | Baxter Community Center, 935 Baxter SE, Grand Rapids Support local youth, ages eight to 18, who’ll demonstrate their own healthy snack creations at the #MIKidsCan Cook competition. The three chosen dishes will be awarded with a cash prize. To compete, request a registration form at
  • June 12 – Faith in Wellness Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Kroc Center, 2500 S. Division Ave. SE, Grand Rapids A dialogue on “Preventing Alzheimer’s by 2025” and “Equipping Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Patients.” To register for this luncheon, email
  • June 13 – 5th Annual Real Men Cook & Eat Healthy Cooking Contest 6 – 7:30 p.m. | Kroc Center, 2500 S. Division Ave. SE, Grand Rapids Come watch as seven local celebrities compete to have their healthy entree’ featured in a local restaurant. This event highlights the importance of men’s health issues through a healthy interactive and fun competition. The winning dish, chosen by a panel of judges, wins a feature on the Linc Up Soul Food Café menu for the month. The People’s Choice winning chef will win a $1,000 donation to a non-profit of their choice. To register for this event, email
  • June 14 – Grand Rapids African-American Health Institute’s Gala 6 – 11 p.m. | 20 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids An evening of celebration and recognition, the gala will honor individuals and organizations that have had significant influence in the areas of health and equity. Purchase tickets at or call 616-331-5831.
  • June 16 – Grand C.I.T.Y. Sports 5k Father & Son Walk 8:30 a.m. | LifeQuest Ministries, 1050 Fisk Road SE, Grand Rapids A father-son focused walk helps demonstrate the significance of men’s health issues and will also provide access to wellness and human service resources and opportunities onsite. To register for this free event, visit grandcitysports.comor email
  • June 16 – 20th Annual Charles R. Drew Golf Outing 8:15 a.m. Shotgun | Quail Ridge Golf Course, 8375 36th St. SE, Ada A day of golfing that spotlights prevention and wellness, particularly in the realm of African American men’s health. The purpose of this event is to educate fathers and sons about the physical and mental health issues that impact their lives and their family’s lives. To register, visit call 616-328-1426.
 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. For more company information, visit and
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association