Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is a funding program sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, an organization that recognizes that increasing physical activity, eating healthy and avoiding tobacco are among the best ways to lower for developing chronic diseases. Also, these are great ways to live longer, healthier lives. LiveWell Northwest Kansas is honored to represent Atwood, Bird City, Colby and St. Francis in this grant award, along with 15 other communities across the state who have pledged to make a difference.
Pathways to a Healthy Kansas combines evidence-based solutions and promising practices for improving healthy eating, active living and tobacco prevention to make a large impact in communities. The program provides community coalitions with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage their communities - and represents the largest community grant program ever funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.
Through the Pathways grant, LiveWell will:
Increase awareness and community engagement in leading healthy lifestyles
Make the healthy choice the first choice across sectors of the community through both policy and practice
Increase consumption of and access to healthy foods
Increase access to and use of safe environments for physical activity
Support tobacco-free living
"Our Pathways partnership gives us tools to make healthy community changes that we've wanted, and we're already seeing results," says Travis Rickford, LiveWell Executive Director.
LIVEWELL NORTHWEST KANSAS | CHEYENNE, RAWLINS AND THOMAS COUNTIES
LiveWell coordinates a collaborative of Cheyenne, Rawlins and Thomas Counties to provide a centralized coordinating body to play, organize and implement local and regional programs, services and initiatives throughout leadership, strategic partnerships and collaboration to make Northwest Kansas a healthier place to live, work and play. We seek to improve access to healthy food, physical activity and tobacco-free public spaces with solutions that are evidence-based and community informed.
COMMUNITY WELL-BEING PROGRESS
The LiveWell collaborative has been streamlining its communications channels and strengthening the capacity of the community coordinators. A stronger team will be fundamental to healthy progress in all pathways. The coalitions in St. Francis and Atwood participated in Dane G. Hansen Foundation Strategic Doing sessions to help identify community policy priorities. Momentum will continue as the collaborative utilizes local funding coordinated through a regional approach.
PATHWAYS ENGAGEMENT HIGHLIGHTS
Two Restaurants Pledged
1. Big Ed's, Bird City
2. Daily Bread Family Restaurant, Bird City
Three Food Retail Stores Pledged
1. Hometown Market
2. Jamboree Foods
3. Sainty Super Foods
Two Healthcare Providers Pledged
1. Thomas County Health Department
2. Cheyenne County Health Department and Clinic
Two Hospitals Pledged
1. Citizens Medical Center
2. Cheyenne County Hospital
Five Worksites Pledged
1. City of Bird City
2. City of Colby
3. McCarty Family Farms
4. Rawlins County Health Center
5. Thomas County
Two School Districts Pledged
1. USD 103 Cheylin
2. USD 315 Colby
PATHWAYS INTO ACTION ACROSS NORTHWEST KANSAS
A Pathways grant is helping USD 103 Cheylin to install four water-bottle filling stations in district schools.
The Daily Bread restaurant is working to expand their healthy food and beverage choices, offer more healthy kid's menu options and strengthen their tobacco-free policies.
LiveWell is advancing discussions about establishing community gardens in Colby's Fike Park and another garden in Bird City.
LiveWell has instituted Walk with a Doc programs in Colby and Atwood.
In Bird City, LiveWell helped establish a community walking circuit with mileae markers and signs with fitness suggestions.
McCarty Dairy is collaborating with their employees to institute WorkWell Kansas policies for a healthy work environment.
Replacement of sidewalks around the Bird City pool and basketball court is in discussion.
LiveWell is in the process of getting an inventory of city and county ordinances and policies for tobacco-free public spaces such as parks, playgrounds, ball fields, swimming pools and fairgrounds in preparation for fruitful discussions with civic leaders.
Worksites are beginning to take part in the WorkWell Kansas trainings which will include sessions about tobacco and e-cigarette cessation programs and tobacco-free work environments.
For more information about Blue Health Initiatives, please contact:
LiveWell Northwest Kansas | Representing the northwest Kansas counties of Cheyenne, Rawlins and Thomas
460 N. Garfield
Colby, Kansas 67701
Director of Blue Health Initiatives
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas