Community Impact

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation grants are empowering Michigan residents to make a difference in health care. See how they've made their mark by reading their success stories.

Student Award recipient explores key to healthy aging

What are the secrets to long-term health? We all know we're supposed to eat well and exercise. But, as Wayne State University doctoral student Nasim Ferdows has learned, there's a lot more at work.

Ferdows is a 2015 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Student Award Program recipient.

"Different studies have identified different factors that influence aging, each drawing from a different point in life,” Ferdows said. "Inspired by these studies, I hypothesized that it is actually a combination of multiple direct and indirect factors over the course of an individual’s life that determines whether someone ages well or will develop chronic health issues."

Ferdows found that healthy aging actually starts in childhood. Her research could lead to programs that specifically address aging factors at all stages of life. Her goal is to inform the state's policy makers and garner their support for increasing the quality of health for Michigan residents throughout their lives.

To read more stories about how our latest grant recipients are making strides in health care research, see our 2016 Annual Report (PDF).

In the news

Read more about how our funding is improving health care across Michigan communities.

In order to get Jackie Nees to adopt a healthier lifestyle, her doctor prescribed fresh fruit and vegetables through a program called Prescription for Health. Now, Nees enjoys going to the farmer's market and eating fresh produce with her daughter. Overall, it helped Nees to lose weight and strengthen the relationships in her life. 

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This post discusses the connections between eating fresh produce and better health. It explores efforts happening across Michigan to expand access to farmers markets for lower-income people and those with chronic diseases as well as how the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation is supporting various initiatives. 

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This is the first in a three-part series about the ways early-childhood trauma impacts health later in life and how organizations in Grand Rapids and metro Detroit are addressing the issue head-on. Does a happy, trauma-free childhood lead to a healthier life?