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News Releases - 2016

October 10, 2016

Kansas Communities Supporting Healthier Lifestyles May Apply for BlueCHIP® Awards Program to Further Efforts

Up to six BlueCHIP winning communities to receive $2,500 each

Kansas communities striving for healthier lifestyles are encouraged to apply by Dec. 7 for an award from the BlueCHIP program. The community health improvement program recognizes and awards communities that encourage health and wellness through programs, initiatives, policies and/or community-wide events. Up to six Kansas communities will each receive $2,500 to assist them in furthering their efforts. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) and Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) are presenting the awards for a seventh consecutive year.

BlueCHIP awards support Kansas communities that are working hard to promote overall health and wellness. The awards program has three categories – small community (10,000 or fewer residents); medium community (10,001 to 20,000 residents); and large community (20,001 or more residents). The 2017 BlueCHIP winners will be announced in February at the KRPA conference in Manhattan. Applications and additional information are available on the KRPA website at krpa.org.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is pleased to, once again, partner with Kansas Recreation and Park Association in spotlighting six healthy Kansas communities," said Marlou Wegener, BCBSKS manager of community relations. "Through the BlueCHIP program, we have seen communities expand, implement and create health and wellness programs. Those initiatives are made possible when communities make it a priority to improve the health and the well-being of their citizens and unite together to make it happen. For 2017, we are hopeful to receive even more applications from communities looking to sustain healthier lifestyles."

Erika Devore, RD, executive director of KRPA, agreed that various entities working together is key to a community's effort to improve the well-being of its residents.

“KRPA takes pride in its long-standing relationship with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. For the seventh year, we are partnering to fund the BlueCHIP program, "Devore said. “It is our hope that this program empowers six new Kansas communities to further their health and wellness efforts.”

The BlueCHIP selection committee will be comprised of representatives from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, League of Kansas Municipalities, KRPA and BCBSKS.

Previous BlueCHIP awards have been presented to Arkansas City, Atchison, Baldwin City, Chanute, Colby, Derby, Emporia, Eudora, Garden City, Garnett, Great Bend, Greeley County, Greensburg, Grinnell, Hepler, Hutchinson, Lawrence, Manhattan, Ottawa, Parsons, Potwin, Pratt, Salina, Thomas County, Wichita and Winfield.

For more information on the BlueCHIP awards program or to learn how to apply, contact Devore at (785) 235-6533 or by email to erika-AT-KRPA-DOT-org.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit bcbsks.com.

About Kansas Recreation and Park Association

Kansas Recreation and Park Association is a non-profit, professional corporation dedicated to the promotion of healthy lifestyles in Kansas communities through the wise use of recreation and stewardship of parks and natural resources. KRPA is comprised of citizens and park and recreation professionals who serve millions of Kansans and tourists at parks, open spaces and recreation facilities, and through healthy programs for children, adults and senior citizens.


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