; Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Kansas City Recognized As An American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite
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Press Release

Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Kansas City Recognized As An American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

Blue KC takes strides to decrease healthcare expenses and increase productivity

September 28, 2012

KANSAS CITY – For the fifth year in a row, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) has been recognized as a Platinum-Level  Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life. initiative for helping its employees lead healthier lives by incorporating physical activity and nutritional programs into the workplace. Blue KC also received Community Innovation and Workplace Innovation awards from the American Heart Association – making it the only company in the American Heart Association’s Midwest affiliate to claim all three awards during this application period.

To be awarded the Platinum-Level recognition, employers must offer employees physical activity options in the workplace, promote a wellness culture, implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture and demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

“At Blue KC, we walk the talk by ensuring our employees lead healthy lives. We are pleased to be recognized once again by the American Heart Association for our work to improve the health of our employees,” said David Gentile, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue KC.

This year, as part of its workplace health and wellness programs, Blue KC introduced two new programs to its employees, both with major success.

Total Transformation is a 12-week program that focuses on employee fitness and nutrition. Four days out of each week participants work out in the Blue KC gym with the trainer and on the fifth day they work on developing healthy eating habits. At the beginning and end of the program participants are measured and weighed to see their progress. “The results of the program have been astounding,” said Liz Early, Blue KC Trainer. “Participants have been pleased and shocked with their transformation.”

For employees who are unable to make the time commitment of the Total Transformation program, Blue KC offers the Wellness on the Go program. With Wellness on the Go, participants work out three times a week at any YMCA or Anytime Fitness location around the Kansas City area. Participants also work with the Blue KC Trainer on a nutritional component. “This program allows for more flexibility, but also relies on the accountability of the participant,” said Early.

Blue KC has not only committed to employee health and wellness, but also focuses on the health and wellness of the community through its partnerships with local and national organizations as well as its helping community leaders on their journey to health.

The Not So “Big KC” Challenge kicked off in June and is a contest between Chamber President Jim Heeter and Mayor Sly James to see who can get the healthiest by October 31. Blue KC is supporting these leaders’ efforts to better their health by providing a nutritionist and a personal trainer to monitor their progress.

Some of Blue KC’s ongoing partnerships include the Chiefs Sports Lab, Girls on the Run, MEND, and KaBOOM!. These current initiatives aim to promote healthier lifestyles by targeting individual, community, and environmental change in the area of childhood obesity prevention and treatment.  ”Our programming represents our comprehensive approach to addressing the most pressing issues facing our KC community,” said Dawnavan Davis, Director of Health Promotions at Blue KC. 

The Fit-Friendly Worksite Program works as a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping companies, like Blue KC, make their employees’ health and wellness a priority.

About Blue and Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. *Ranked by J.D. Power and Associates in 2012 as “Highest Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in the Heartland Region,” Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to use our role as the area’s leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health and wellness of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City aims to be the local expert, value-driven and trusted leader in Kansas City. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com. 

* Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City received the highest numerical score among commercial health plans in the Heartland region (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska) in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Member Health Plan StudySM.  Study based on 32,868 total member responses, measuring nine plans in the Heartland Region (excludes Medicare and Medicaid). Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of members surveyed December 2011-January 2012. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.