Community Grant Initiative

Pathways to a Healthy Kansas

Pathways to a Healthy Kansas, is the largest community grant initiative ever funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. It combines community-wide, evidence-based solutions and practices to help Kansas communities improve active living, healthy eating and commercial tobacco prevention.

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About Pathways

The initiative provides community coalitions with the tools and resources needed to engage their communities and remove barriers to healthy living.

    Increasing physical activity, healthy eating and avoiding commercial tobacco use are among the best ways to lower risk for developing chronic diseases and to live healthier, longer lives. These are the factors Pathways is designed to address in communities.

    Learn more about preventable chronic diseases.

    Many paths must come together to make real, sustainable change in a community. That's why Pathways takes a holistic, community-wide approach to improving health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health.

    Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age that fundamentally affect a wide range of health outcomes and risk (CDC). Pathways align with the Kaiser Family Foundation’s framework for the social determinants of health and focus on areas that impact community health across multiple factors: Community & Social Context, Neighborhood & Physical Environment, Food, Healthcare, Education, and Economic Stability.

    By using this framework for each pathway, this initiative will strive to improve conditions that are the drivers of health in a community.

    Pathways encourages grantees to identify opportunities to improve health equity in their communities and to better understand why these inequities exist.

    According to the CDC, health equity is achieving the highest level of health for all people. Read more about health equity goals in Health Equity in Healthy People 2030.

    Through the Pathways initiative we can collaborate to create healthy environments for all members of Kansas communities.

    Pathways started in 2016 with eight communities and expanded to 16 communities in 2017. In 2020, the Pathways initiative started a second phase of work with a total of 24 communities – 12 new and 12 returning communities from across the BCBSKS service area.

    Through Pathways to a Healthy Kansas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has provided more than $23 million to aid community coalitions in their work. This represents our sustained commitment to Kansas communities, and our belief that healthier communities benefit us all.

    Blue Cross provides each community with technical assistance for planning, evaluation, communications, and measurement through partnerships with Wichita State University's Community Engagement Institute, Kansas Health Institute, Seed 2 Roots and other organizations.

    The Pathways to a Healthy Kansas phase two grant cycle is currently closed to new communities. Organizations within current Pathways communities can reach out to their grant coordinator for more information about grants that may be available.

    Complete our Blue Health Initiatives contact form to be notified of future grant opportunities.

    Pathways for a Healthy Kansas grantees map in 2023

    Pathways grantees

    Pathways to a Healthy Kansas encourages community coalitions to identify the strategies that will work best for their residents and community culture. Through their projects, Pathways grantees raise up the voices of impacted populations to advance health equity and improve the overall health of their community.

    Follow the link below to learn about each of our grantees and their successes.

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    Pathways data dashboard

    Dive into our data dashboard to learn more about the transformational changes being made in Kansas communities. This dashboard includes detailed information on where we are working, what we are doing and how we are improving the health of Kansas communities.