TOPEKA — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas announced it has selected the Quality of Life Coalition, Inc. in Dickinson county, along with 23 other communities in Kansas as grantees for its second phase of Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative.
This includes 12 returning communities that were selected in the initiative’s first phase of grants.
Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is the largest community grant program ever funded by BCBSKS. Since the initiative began in 2016, BCBSKS has donated more than $11.7 million in grants and assistance to communities throughout Kansas. The Pathways program was created to inspire long-lasting, community-wide health and wellness in communities across Kansas.
“We are excited to recognize our second cohort of Pathways grantees,” said Matt All, president and CEO of BCBSKS. “We have been rooted in Kansas for over 75 years and have a commitment to our neighbors to strengthen the health of all Kansans. Through our Pathways initiative, we are making strides toward this goal by helping remove barriers to accessing healthy foods, increasing physical activity and preventing commercial tobacco use. We are thrilled to continue this program with our new Pathways grantees.”
The grant funding includes a coordination grant of $200,000 for each community. In addition, Dickinson County community will have the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementation grants amounting to $200,000, for a total of up to $400,000.
Quality of Life Coalition, Inc., was excited Dickinson County was selected for a second phase of Pathways. This will allow QLC to continue building on the foundation Phase 1 offered over the last three years. QLC intends to utilize these newly awarded grant funds to enhance the availability of healthy foods and safe places to walk, as well as encouraging tobacco free living.
In addition, plans include creative ways to highlight Dickinson County’s unique culture as well as promote outdoor activity.
The Pathways grant addresses the three behaviors of focus – physical activity, commercial tobacco prevention, and healthy eating – that reduce risk for serious health conditions though six areas or work, or pathways.
The pathways include Community & Social Context, Neighborhood & Physical Environment, Food, Healthcare, Education, and Economic Stability, and strive to improve conditions that are the drivers of health in a community.