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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Schools Partner to Get Kids More Active
Date:10/26/2007

Grants to 14 schools brings total of school districts receiving grants to

52

DETROIT, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- For the fourth consecutive year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and its affiliated HMO Blue Care Network are helping schools across the state launch activities to help Michigan children become more physically active and healthier.

The company is partnering with 14 Michigan schools so they can provide essential activities to promote physical activity, including the renovation or creation of neighborhood walking paths, purchase of much-needed exercise equipment, and the addition of outdoor equipment such as climbing walls and playground stations.

The program is expected to directly reach more than 8,200 students, plus thousands more future students and residents in local communities. Since 2004, Building Healthy Communities grants have gone to schools in 52 school districts across Michigan to promote physical activity and good nutrition among more than 68,000 school children.

"Helping improve the health status of Michigan's children is a plank in our comprehensive effort to improve the health of all state residents," said Lynda Rossi, Blues vice president of public policy and social mission. "We do that in several ways, including our commitment to the state's MIChild program, which provides health coverage to eligible children, and through grant programs like this that encourage young people to stay fit and active and help prevent more serious health conditions down the road."

"It is absolutely essential that young people receive encouragement to follow healthy lifestyles so we can reverse the trend we are seeing in childhood obesity and the early development of diseases such as diabetes," Rossi said. "We want to lower their risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke."

Michigan Surgeon General Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., said, "To effectively improve the he
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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