Crawford County is one of eight Kansas communities recently selected as a grantee in the largest community grant program ever funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. During the next three years, members of Live Well Crawford County will lead the community in these efforts.
Called the Pathways Program, the initiative provides community coalitions like Live Well Crawford County with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage the community in ways that enable healthy eating and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life.
The funding for Crawford County includes a coordination grant of $100,000, with the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementation and achievements grants amounting to $215,000, for a total of $315,000 during the next three years.
"We chose 'Pathways' as the name for this initiative because there are truly many paths which must converge in order for a community to build and sustain a healthy environment for residents," said Andrew C. Corbin, president/CEO. "Those various pathways form the program's focus areas of community policy, resident/community well-being, the food retail sector, health care, restaurants, schools and worksites."
In addition to the grant dollars, Blue Cross is providing Live Well Crawford County with technical assistance for planning, evaluation, communications and measurement through partnerships with Kansas Health Institute and the Community Engagement Institute at Wichita State University.
Also, elementary schools in Crawford County will have free access to GoNoodle Plus for the duration of the funding period. GoNoodle is a website with interactive games and videos that get children moving throughout the day. The activities are designed to help children channel their physical and emotional energy for good -- improving behavior, focus and achievement.
"We want to work closely with Live Well Crawford County to inspire long-lasting, community-wide well-being, focus on strategies that build community engagement and transform the way residents stay healthy as they work, play and interact socially," said Virginia Barnes, MPH, director of Blue Health Initiatives and developer of the grant program. "We want to help Crawford County become a place where the healthy choice is the easy choice to make, cultivating a healthy culture now and for future generations to come."
Live Well Crawford County strives to promote healthy lifestyle choices in order to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Crawford County. Live Well Crawford County enjoys supporting community projects and activities that promote physical activity and increase access to healthier foods.
To receive funding, Crawford County went through a thorough application process that included an on-site visit. Eligible communities were required to:
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Live Well will regularly share stories of ways we're making a difference in Crawford County.