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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) announces it has selected the LiveWell Douglas County coalition, along with 23 other communities in Kansas as grantees for its second phase of Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative. This includes 12 returning communities that were selected in the initiative’s first phase of grants.
Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is the largest community grant program ever funded by BCBSKS. Since the initiative began in 2016, BCBSKS has donated more than $11.7 million in grants and assistance to communities throughout Kansas. The Pathways program was created to inspire long-lasting, community-wide health and wellness in communities across Kansas.
“We are excited to recognize our second cohort of Pathways grantees,” said Matt All, president and CEO of BCBSKS. “We have been rooted in Kansas for over 75 years and have a commitment to our neighbors to strengthen the health of all Kansans. Through our Pathways initiative, we are making strides toward this goal by helping remove barriers to accessing healthy foods, increasing physical activity and preventing commercial tobacco use. We are thrilled to continue this program with our new Pathways grantees.”
The grant funding includes a coordination grant of $200,000 for each community.
These funds, along with generous contributions from Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and the Douglas County Community Foundation will allow LiveWell Douglas County to hire a full-time Executive Director to coordinate the efforts of the coalition and strengthen its ability to positively affect change in the health outcomes of Douglas County residents. In addition to staff support, the BCBSKS partnership will provide LiveWell Douglas County the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementation grants of up to $300,000 to fulfill the Pathways projects.
“We are excited about what the future holds for LiveWell Douglas County and how these grant projects will amplify the amazing work of our coalition,” said LiveWell Chair Joey Hentzler. “I am proud of the project we have committed to which will tangibly impact the lives of our neighbors and help support thriving communities for all residents. The addition of staff to strengthen our organization will strengthen the collaboration of our coalition and realize our mission."
The Pathways grant addresses the three behaviors of focus – physical activity, tobacco-use prevention, and healthy eating – that reduce risk for serious health conditions though six areas or work, or pathways. The pathways include Community & Social Context, Neighborhood & Physical Environment, Food, Healthcare, Education, and Economic Stability, and strive to improve conditions that are the drivers of health in a community.
About LiveWell Douglas County
Established in 2008, LiveWell Douglas County is a cross-sectoral community coalition that works to improve the health and well-being of residents of Lawrence and Douglas County. Since 2013, LiveWell has served as the primary convener of the Douglas County Community Health Plan’s efforts to improve nutrition, food security, physical activity and a healthy-built environment for all county residents.
For more than 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars. 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.