Junction City Union Staff
Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Kansas has yet again selected Geary County as the recipient of a Pathways to a Healthy Kansas grant recipient, a grant totaling $200,000.
It, alongside 23 other counties in the state, will be part of the second phase of the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative.
Geary County is one of 12 current recipients that also received a previous Pathways grant, when the program started back in 2016.
Pathways is the largest grant program that has ever been funded by BCBSKS. The program has presented Kansas communities with a total of $11.7 million in grants and assistance.
The program is meant to inspire long-lasting, community-wide health initiative and wellness in communities around the state.
“We are excited to recognize our second cohort of Pathways grantees,” president and CEO of BCBSKS Matt All said. “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 money includes a coordination grant of $200,000 for each community that receives a Pathways grant. Also, Live Well Geary County will have a chance to apply for non-competitive implementation grants. These grants total $200,000 for a total of up to $400,000.
“LWGC is very excited to have been awarded Phase 2 funding,” Pathways Grant Coordinator for Live Well Geary County Susan Jagerson said. “We look forward to continuing to work with our community partners. This funding will help sustain and expand Phase 1 initiatives and develop new programs to improve community health and quality of life in Geary County.”
The Pathways grant has the three areas of focus. These include physical activity, commercial tobacco prevention, and healthy eating. These behaviors play a major factor in reducing the risk of major health conditions though six areas, or pathways. These pathways are community and social context, neighborhood and physical environment, food, healthcare, education, and economic stability, and strive to improve conditions. These are major drivers of health within communities such as Geary County.