Jan. 27, 2010
New Partnership Creates BlueCHIP® Awards Program to Promote Healthy Kansas Communities
A statewide association dedicated to the promotion of healthy lifestyles in Kansas communities and the state’s largest health insurer today announced a new business partnership aimed at creating a healthier state by improving the quality of life for Kansans.
Citing a common desire to make Kansas a healthy, happy place to live and work, the Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) have forged a new partnership, resulting in the creation of a community awards program.
BlueCHIP® is a community health improvement program created to recognize and reward Kansas communities who encourage and support healthy lifestyles through programs, initiatives, policies and/or community-wide events.
“We are thrilled to be working alongside KRPA to recognize and reward Kansas communities through BlueCHIP,” said Andrew C. Corbin, BCBSKS president/CEO. “At Blue Cross, we take great pride in supporting initiatives and creating programs aimed at improving the health of our members, as well as all Kansans. Making healthy lifestyle choices require personal responsibility, but when individuals come together as a community to work on a common goal, we know that success can be widespread.”
The creation of the BlueCHIP awards program was announced today in Topeka during the annual KRPA conference, attended by more than 350 members, including park and recreation professionals and private citizens from across the state.
“The opportunity to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas in the development of this award is significant to all our members,” said Doug Vance, KRPA executive director. “We are excited to join forces and create a meaningful award that will recognize important efforts throughout various sized communities to enhance healthy lifestyles and provide an incentive for communities to address their efforts in quality of life programs.
“Park and recreation agencies play a leading role in providing programs and facilities which influence healthy lifestyles and our members are looking forward to using the BlueCHIP awards program as a way to increase that effort,” he said.
Through the partnership, BCBSKS will annually fund $7,500 in cash awards with three winning BlueCHIP communities each receiving $2,500. A selection committee will pick one winner each from the following three categories: small (up to 20,000 residents), medium (20,000-49,999) and large (50,000 and greater).
The BlueCHIP selection committee will be comprised of representatives from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Coordinated School Health, League of Kansas Municipalities, KRPA and BCBSKS.
“On their applications, communities should keep ‘CHIP’ in mind and tell the selection committee how their programs or initiatives support ‘C,’ clean air; ‘H,’ healthy food choices; ‘I,’ initiatives to curb obesity; and, ‘P,’ physical activity,” Vance said.
Applications for the 2010 awards program will be available on the KRPA Web site (www.krpa.org) beginning March 1. The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 1. The three inaugural winners of BlueCHIP awards will be notified in early January 2011 and publicly announced later that month during the 2011 KRPA conference in Wichita.
For more information on the BlueCHIP awards program or to learn how to apply, contact Vance at (785) 691-7708 or by e-mail to doug@KRPA.org.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSKS is the state's largest health insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte.
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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