Four Kansas Communities Recognized With BlueCHIP Awards For Promoting Healthy Communities
TOPEKA, KS — The BlueCHIP awards were announced today during a luncheon at the 2012 KRPA Annual Conference and Trade Show at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Topeka. In winning a BlueCHIP award, Derby, Manhattan, Parsons and Salina each received a check for $2,500 intended to assist residents in continuing their efforts to improve the health of their communities. In its second year, BlueCHIP is a community health improvement program created to recognize and reward Kansas communities who encourage and support healthy lifestyles through programs, initiatives, policies and/or community-wide events. In 2011, the initial BlueCHIP awards were presented to Lawrence, Hutchinson and Grinnell. "This year’s winning communities – Derby, Manhattan, Parsons and Salina – are great examples of what can be accomplished in a community when people work together towards a common goal,” said Marlou Wegener, BCBSKS manager of community relations. "It is through the grassroots efforts of individuals in these communities – and others – that innovative programs are created to help Kansans lead healthier lives. Over time, these programs will help rein in the overall costs of health care by lowering the incidence of many preventable, chronic conditions.” Doug Vance, executive director of KRPA, said the winning efforts of Derby, Manhattan, Parsons and Salina should serve as a catalyst to other Kansas communities who want to collaborate on healthy initiatives. "These winning communities are to be congratulated for the success they have achieved and the plans they laid out for future initiatives,” Vance said. “While these winning communities stood out for their achievements, we learned through a competitive application process that many Kansas communities are making great strides in collaborating on healthy initiatives. Every community that has residents working together on initiatives to support clean air and healthy food choices, curb obesity and increase physical activities is to be commended.” The BlueCHIP selection committee was comprised of representatives from the Healthy Kansas Schools, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, KRPA and BCBSKS. The committee picked two winners from each of the following categories: small (population of 30,000 and under) and large (population of 30,001 and more).