Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan encourages community dialogue on health disparities and prevention with fifth-annual Let’s Talk Health Week

June 1, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is presenting Let’s Talk Health Week for the fifth consecutive year to address health disparities in Grand Rapids through community-based activities and conversations. Since 2011, more than 10,000 area residents have come out to participate in the week-long series of events. This year, Let’s Talk Health Week runs June 13 – 19.

African-American and Latino communities are disproportionately affected by chronic illness, such as heart disease and diabetes. Let’s Talk Health Week brings local leaders, advocates, agencies and members of faith-based organizations together to discuss these disparities, and empower individuals to take control of their health through lifestyle changes and preventive care.

Let’s Talk Health Week is fun way to send a serious message: we need to make our health a priority in every stage of life,” said Cle Jackson, senior community liaison for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Blue Cross is honored to be working alongside the NAACP Branch of Greater Grand Rapids and so many other dedicated organizations and individuals to help Grand Rapids’ diverse communities stay active, eat well and ultimately live longer, happier and healthier lives.”

All Let’s Talk Health Week events are open to the public. Raffle giveaways will take place throughout the week. Attendees at each event can also enter the grand-prize drawing to receive a Fitbit on Monday, June 22.

Here is a complete list of Let’s Talk Health Week events:

Monday, June 13 – Blues Community Faith in Wellness Challenge Kick-Off Rally

6 - 7 p.m. | Baxter Community Center, 935 Baxter SE, Grand Rapids

Hundreds of parishioners from 15 local churches get moving as part of their 10-week, Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge health journey. Participants will choose to engage in all or one of the following 15-minute workouts: Zumba, Sit & Fit and Boot Camp. To RSVP for this free event, contact or call 616-329-5541.

Monday, June 13 – #MIKidsCan Cook Competition

7 - 8 p.m. | Baxter Community Center, 935 Baxter SE, Grand Rapids

Support local youth, ages eight to 18, who’ll demonstrate their own healthy snack creations at the #MIKidsCan Cook competition. To RSVP for this free event, contact or call 616-329-5541.

Tuesday, June 14 – Faith in Wellness Luncheon

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Kroc Center, 2500 S. Division Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

A dialogue on the critical role faith-based institutions play in encouraging and leading healthy behaviors in community. To RSVP for this free event, contact or call 616-329-5541.

Friday, June 17 – Fourth Annual Real Men Cook & Eat Healthy Cooking Contest

6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. | Kroc Center, 2500 S. Division Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

Seven local celebrity chefs will compete to have their healthy entree’ featured in a local restaurant. This event highlights the importance of men’s health issues through a healthy interactive and fun competition. The winning dish that is chosen by a panel of judges wins a feature on the Linc Up Soul Food Café menu for the month. The winning chef will also win a $1,000 donation to a non-profit of their choice. To RSVP for this free event, contact or call 616-329-5541.

Saturday, June 18 – Grand C.I.T.Y. Sports 5k Father & Son Walk

8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. | LifeQuest Ministries, Neland Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

A father-son focused walk helps demonstrate the significance of men’s health issues and will also provide access to wellness and human service resources and opportunities onsite. To register for this free event, visit or email

Saturday, June 18 – Seventeenth Annual Charles R. Drew Golf Outing

8:15 a.m. Shotgun | Quail Ridge Golf Course, 8375 36th St. SE, Ada

A day of golfing that spotlights prevention and wellness, particularly in the realm of African American men’s health. The purpose of this event is to educate fathers and sons about the physical and mental health issues that impact their lives and their family’s lives. More specifically, this year will spotlight diabetes. To register, visit or call 616-328-1426. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit and