June 29, 2011
BlueCHIP® Awards Program Promoting Healthy Kansas Communities Renewed, Expanded for 2011
Four Kansas communities will each win $2,500 in early 2012 to further promote health and wellness programs in their communities as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) and Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) have agreed to renew and expand the BlueCHIP® community health improvement program.
BlueCHIP awards recognize and reward Kansas communities who encourage and support healthy lifestyles through programs, initiatives, policies and/or community-wide events. The inaugural winners of BlueCHIP awards were announced this past February at the KRPA annual conference in Wichita. The winning communities were Grinnell (Gove County, in the small community category); Hutchinson (Reno County, medium community); and, Lawrence (Douglas County, large community).
“It was clear from the number of quality applications that we received for the first-ever BlueCHIP awards that residents within many Kansas communities are making great strides in working together to improve the health of their communities,” said Andrew C. Corbin, BCBSKS president/CEO. “Equally clear to us was that the awards program needed to be renewed and expanded for 2011 so more communities can be recognized.”
For the 2011 awards program, there are two categories – small community (30,000 or fewer residents) and large community (30,001 or more residents) with two winners being picked from each category for a total of four awardees. Each winning community will receive $2,500 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.
The BlueCHIP community health improvement program is part of a partnership between BCBSKS and KRPA. The two organizations forged the partnership in 2009 citing a common desire to make Kansas a healthy, happy place to live and work.
“All of us involved in the BlueCHIP awards process last year were deeply impressed with the depth and quality of healthy lifestyle programs communities throughout Kansas have in place,” said Doug Vance, KRPA executive director. “It’s important that we continue this partnership which allows us to encourage, acknowledge and reward communities that have established programs and systems that are impacting the quality of life for their citizens.”
For a second year, 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.
“The selection committee will be looking to recognize communities that have programs or initiatives in place that support clean air, healthy food choices, lowering the incidence of obesity and increasing physical activity,” Vance said.
Applications for the 2011 awards program are available on the KRPA Web site. The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 15. The four winners of BlueCHIP awards will be presented Jan. 25, 2012, at the KRPA annual conference in Topeka.
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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