Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan invests in community initiatives that focus on health, wellness and prevention. Body & Soul Blue

BridgetHurd

2011 Corporate Philanthropy

Bridget G. Hurd
Director of Community Responsibility
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan invests in community initiatives that focus on health, wellness and prevention. In 2009, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, BCBSM launched the Body & Soul Blue program in African-American faith-based communities to encourage participants to practice good nutrition and engage in physical activity.

“Health disparities in diverse communities are significant. Blue Cross is committed to improving the health of African-Americans by educating and engaging them in healthier lifestyles. Working with the faith-based community is a great platform for educating people about good nutrition and healthy habits,” said Bridget G. Hurd, Michigan Blues director of Community Responsibility.

Body & Soul Blue combines pastoral leadership, educational activities and incentives for various levels of physical activity during the timeframe of the program. Implementing this within the church environment where participants are comfortable and among people they trust, the information, tools and physical activity opportunities empower church members to take charge of their health. Body & Soul Blue also incorporates ACS’s “Tell-A-Friend” program to promote mammography screenings and breast self-exams. BCBSM provides its free online physical activity tracking tool to participating churches to accurately record the physical activity component of the initiative. Health appraisals are used to measure improvements in health.

The program was implemented in Grand Rapids and Flint, Michigan in 2009 and 2010. last year, 11 Grand Rapids-area churches participated in the 2010 Body & Soul Blue challenge; in Flint, eight churches completed the challenge.

Currently, Body & Soul Blue is underway in Southeast Michigan, and planning has begun for the third installments of Body & Soul Blue in Flint and Grand Rapids. Receiving notable statewide interest in the program, the partners hope to expand in 2012 to include Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay area, serving residents in the Saginaw and Bay City communities.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Corporate Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan
Website: www.bcbsm.com
Primary Business: Health insurance benefits
Employees: 7,100

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