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Taking "Pathways" to Action

About 20 representatives throughout northwest Kansas came to Colby on Wednesday, April 24, to learn about how their workplaces can help employees make healthy choices. The program was led by Virginia Barnes and Jane Shirley of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.

In addition to health and wellness educational sessions and webinars, Barnes and Shirley encouraged attendees to contact them for consultations and collaborations to develop, evaluate or further wellness programs within their businesses.

"Your employees can get guidance on biometric screenings, counseling, and can complete online health assessments," said Shirley. "They even have access to health-related videos, recorded webinars and e-learning modules."

BCBS of Kansas representatives stressed the importance of taking advantage of their resources and acting as a leader for employees since overall health can improve workplace environments, employee behaviors and work ethics, and overall happiness within the job.

"You can improve their quality of life by enrolling in a disease or wellness management program for asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight loss, stress management, or tobacco cessation."


  • Visit to watch health-related videos, webinars, and e-learning modules

  • Call 1-800-520-3137 to enroll in disease or wellness management programs



The organization recognizes that increasing physical activity, eating healthy and avoiding tobacco are among the best ways to lower risk for developing chronic diseases. Also, these are great ways to live longer, healthier lives. Through "Pathways to a Healthy Kansas" grant funding and resources awarded to LiveWell Northwest Kansas, funding and resources, Blue Cross expects communities 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

LiveWell Northwest Kansas represents the communities of Atwood, Bird City, Colby and St. Francis in this Pathways initiative. In addition, 15 other communities across Kansas received funding, tools and resources from Blue Cross Blue Shield to remove barriers and engage residents in ways that enable healthy eating, and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life both now and for future generations.

Initiatives target community policies and practices and benefit the entire community, from resident and community well being, health care providers, work sites, eating establishments and food retail, schools and other sectors.

To learn more about this incredible initiative, visit


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