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Blue Cross Blue Shield: 6th Annual "Lets Talk Health"

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Let’s talk health.  For the 6th consecutive year, Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Michigan is addressing health disparities in Grand Rapids.  Community based activities and important conversations have been taking place all week in an effort to address concerns.  It’s their annual, “Let’s Talk Health Week.”

“We know the disparities. The disparities when it comes to hypertension and cardiac issues or heart disease in men, especially men of color, women of color, cancers.”

That’s Cle Jackson, Senior Community Liason for Blue Cross, Blue Shield of West Michigan, discussing some of the health disparities reported in local communities.  Combined, African Americans and Latinos make up 33 percent of the Grand Rapids population and often face those health disparities, like diabetes and heart disease.  He says it’s this information that keeps them focused to keep the lines of communication open to address the needs of the community.  That’s why “Let’s Talk Health Week” is in its sixth year.

“The message of this whole week, is really underscoring the importance of prevention. Prevention though incorporating daily exercise, it’s has huge impacts on your overall health and wellness.  And the other piece is just incorporating healthier food options into your daily diet.”

Jackson says this week, which incorporates everything from the Faith in Wellness Luncheon, to a kids cooking competition and the annual men’s healthy cook-off among other events.  It allows them to connect with Grand Rapids’ diverse population and continue to encourage healthy lifestyle changes that can result in healthier lives. 

“There are resources available to help everyone on their road to health and wellness.”

Let’s talk Health Week wraps up this weekend, with tonight’s Black and White Gala for GRAAHI, the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute’s event, plus on Saturday it culminates with a father and son 5k walk and Golf outing.