Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan encourages conversations about health issues as presenter of third annual Let’s Talk Health Week

Series of events encourages healthy living among Grand Rapids’ diverse communities

June 5, 2014 

GRAND RAPIDS—Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, in collaboration with numerous west Michigan community organizations, is helping the community facilitate a dialogue as the presenting partner of Let’s Talk Health Week. Held the week of June 9-14 in Grand Rapids, the third-annual event will feature a number of activities emphasizing the importance of healthy lifestyles, prevention and physical activity, especially among diverse communities.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proud to partner with so many respected organizations to encourage the Grand Rapids community to truly make their health a priority,” said Cle Jackson, senior community liaison for BCBSM. “Let’s Talk Health Week is an ideal platform to bring people together to share information and help educate each other on the best ways to take care of ourselves and our families by living healthier lifestyles.” 

Let’s Talk Health Week is a continuation of BCBSM’s commitment to improving the health of Michigan residents by bringing local leaders, advocates, agencies and members of faith-based organizations together to discuss health disparities that affect African-American and Latino communities, while underscoring the importance of preventive care.

Here is the complete list of Let’s Talk Health Week events, all of which are open to the public:

Monday, June 9Faith in Wellness Luncheon

  •  11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  •  Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2500 Division Ave., Grand Rapids, MI 49507
  •  This luncheon will include a faith-driven discussion on how to improve health outcomes by partnering with grassroots community-based organizations, an update on the Affordable Care Act and a conversation on how the faith-based community can help improve healthcare outcomes and enrollment 

Tuesday, June 10 - Let’s Talk Health: Youth Prevention Dinner

  • 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.               
  • Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2500 Division Ave., Grand Rapids, MI 49507               
  • This event, a prevention discussion with Kent County Prevention Coalition, parents and teenagers, is a follow-up to the May 2 Kent County Prevention Coalition (KCPC): Above the Influence Youth Summit that took place at GVSU Allendale Campus

Wednesday, June 11 – Let’s Talk Health: Community Dance Competition

  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.                                               
  • New Hope Baptist Church, 130 Delaware SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503      
  • This event is a peer-to-peer group fitness session that underscores the importance of prevention

Wednesday, June 11 – YMCA’s Healthy Cooking Matters Class

  • 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.                                               
  • Required cooking class for all Real Men Cook & Eat Healthy Cooking Contest participants

Thursday, June 12  - Grand Rapids African American Health Institute Gala & Fundraiser (GRAAHI)

  • 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.             
  •  JW Marriott, 235 Louis St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503   
  • This is an evening of recognition and celebration to honor those who have made an impact in the health equity in West Michigan

Friday, June 13 - Real Men Cook & Eat Healthy Cooking Contest

  •  5:30 – 7:30 p.m.               
  •  Baxter Community Center, 935 Baxter SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507           
  • This cooking challenge will highlight the importance of men’s health issues and provide access to resources and opportunities through this healthy and fun competition
  • Michael Mason, Toni Scott, from Our Kitchen Table, and Chef Oliver-Hale, a healthy cooking expert, will serve as judges for the event

Friday, June 13/Saturday, June 14 - American Cancer Society Relay for Life         

  • 1 p.m. (Friday) – 1 p.m. (Saturday)
  • Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Grand Rapids, MI 49503      
  • Relay for Life offers an inspiring opportunity to honor cancer survivors, promotes how individuals can reduce their cancer risk, and raises money to help end cancer

Saturday, June 14 - Grand City Sports Father & Son 5K Walk       

  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.             
  • Life Quest Ministries, 1050 Fisk Road SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507              
  • This year, Let’s Talk Health Week coincides with Father’s Day and this father and son event will highlight the importance of men’s health issues and provide access to resources and opportunities through this healthy and fun competition


For more information on any of the Let’s Talk Health Week events, contact Cle Jackson at or visit

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