Community Engagement Institute supports statewide initiative of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

As part of an effort to help Kansans live healthier lives in communities that support health where they live, work and play, the Community Engagement Institute has helped Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) launch a second round of grantees in their Pathways to a Healthy Kansas community grant initiative.

Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is a major community grant program designed and funded by BCBSKS that provides community coalitions with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage their communities in ways that enable healthy eating and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life. These coalitions will be working within their communities on policy, systems, and environmental changes in the Pathways focus areas of community policy, resident/community well-being, the food retail sector, health care, restaurants, schools and worksites.

Beginning Aug. 1, 2017, the new eight awardees bring the total number of grant recipients to 16. Each of these eight communities receives a $100,000 coordination grant, along with technical assistance and support from the Community Engagement Institute and other resources. In addition, each community will have the opportunity to receive implementation and achievement grants of up to $400,000 per community. In all, each Pathways community may receive up to $500,000 in grants during the next three years.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas selected the Community Engagement Institute (CEI) and the Kansas Health Institute to collaboratively assist with the design of the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas community grant program. Further, CEI is assisting BCBSKS by providing technical assistance to the now sixteen funded communities through on-site coalition meeting support, educational webinars, monthly planning calls and more.

You can learn more about the program at http://www.bcbsks.com/Pathways/. To learn more about how the Community Engagement Institute supports this initiative and others like it, contact scott.wituk@wichita.edu.

The eight communities and their coalitions selected for 2017-20 funding are: Chanute (Energize Chanute!/Chanute Recreation Commission); Cowley County (RISE Cowley); Dickinson County (Quality of Life Coalition); Geary County (Live Well Geary County); Harvey County (Healthy Harvey Coalition); Lyon County (Healthier Lyon County); Seward (Liberal Area Coalition for Families); and the group of Atwood, Bird City, Colby and St. Francis in Thomas, Rawlins and Cheyenne counties (Northwest Collaborative).