Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Seeds of Promise address Healthy Living during Let's Talk Health week

Emmy-Award nominated television host and celebrity chef Marvin Woods to be featured

June 8, 2012

GRAND RAPIDS — In partnership with locally based Seeds of PromiseTM, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will present Let's Talk Health week June 8-16, 2012, in Grand Rapids. The week will promote the importance of healthy lifestyles, underscore prevention and encourage African American residents to engage in regular physical activity, while connecting the community to numerous health and human resources. Event organizers also aim to connect consumers to available health and human services resources in the community.

"We’re pleased to engage the community in such an important and needed dialogue," said Jeff Connolly, VP, BCBSM and President, West Michigan Operations & Managed Care. "Encouraging adoption of simple and manageable lifestyle changes will lead to overall improved health, including prevention of chronic diseases. The Blues encourage everyone to be informed, active participants in their own personal health and wellness, and Let’s Talk Health week provides an opportunity to do just that."

Key events taking place during the week include:

Tuesday, June 12 -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Let’s Talk Health Week 2012

George K. Heartwell, Mayor of the City of Grand Rapids, will present a proclamation designating June 8, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 16, 2012, as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health week 2012, and encourages all citizens to join in celebrating and supporting the activities of the wee. The proclaimation will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the City of Grand Rapids Commission Chamber, located at 300 Monroe NW, 9th floor.

Thursday, June 14 -- Celebrity chef Marvin Woods featured as part of Gala event

Celebrity chef and Emmy® award nominated author Marvin Woods, recently chosen to kick off First Lady Michelle Obama's Lets Move! cooking series, will be featured as part of the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute 10th Year Anniversary Gala. The event, taking place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 14 at the JW Marriott, will celebrate the organization's 10th year of promoting health care parity in the Grand Rapids African American community, and will honor community leaders who have contributed toward this goal.

Friday, June 15 -- Real Men Cook2 and Eat Healthy cooking competition takes center stage

A healthy cooking competition will be held as part of a partnership with Messiah Baptist Church Men's Health Ministry. The competition, which will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at Life Quest Ministries, 1050 Fisk SE in Grand Rapids, is a free public event and open to men of all ages, races and ethnicities. Guests attending the event will learn about healthy recipes and how to prepare their favorite food items in a healthier way using healthier alternatives. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three winners. The RMC2 main event, which is a ticketed event, will follow the cooking competition and starts at 7:15 p.m.. This part of the event will feature a spoken word artist, key note speaker and plated dinner.

Additional activities include:

Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9 -- American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event will take place at Ah-Nab-Awen Park. The overnight event features teams that show support for those who have battled cancer through relay-style walking. The event marks the midpoint of the Body & Soul and the Blues Community Challenge, a partnership between the Blues and American Cancer Society which encourages African-American churches to adopt healthier lifestyles through proper nutrition and exercise.

Saturday, June 9 --Rock the Block supports healthy living

LINC Community Revitalization Inc. will host the 2012 Rock the Block Health Fest from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Madison Avenue. The event will educate families on healthy lifestyles and will feature local food, live entertainment and activities for kids.

Tuesday, June 12 -- Renowned health care activist to speak about health and minority women

Health care activist Byllye Avery, founder of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, will be featured during the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute networking breakfast, lecture and discussion on health care reform and its impact on minority women. In addition, Eleanor Hinton Hoyt and Hillary Beard authors of Health First! The Black Woman’s Wellness Guide will be on hand to sign copies of their book which explores Black women’s most critical health challenges, connecting the dots through honest discussions with experts and the uncensored stories of real women—from adolescence through elderhood.The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Grand Valley Cook DeVos Center. Registration is available by calling 616-331-5831 or by email at

Saturday, June 16 -- Tee off with the Omega Psi PHI Charles R. Drew golf outing

The lota Pi Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity of Grand Rapids, in partnership with the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, will host the 14th Annual Charles R. Drew Scholarship Golf Outing on Saturday, June 16 at Quail Ridge Golf Course. Proceeds will be used to promote issues concerning men’s health, healthcare parity and benefit student scholars from local high schools.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit

Seeds of Promise is a community-driven effort to collaboratively improve quality of life in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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