Much of our work at BikeWalkKC is to improve the health and quality of life for residents of Greater Kansas City. The data shows that is often a daunting task! Today we are excited to share with you our involvement in Healthy KC, a new regional initiative to accelerate the pace of change in Kansas City.
National health rankings show a decline in the overall health of citizens. The United Health Foundation named Missouri and Kansas among states with the most significant decline over the past 25 years. A Kansas City Star article cited the Foundation’s statistics earlier this year:
- Cancer deaths are on the rise in both states, as the national average drops
- Missouri’s rate of heart disease is above the national average. Its tobacco tax is the lowest in the country at just 17 cents per pack. The average state tax is $1.54 per pack.
- Missouri is the only state that does not monitor the sale of prescription painkillers, and spends less money per capita on public health than any other state in the nation.
- Kansas has one of the lowest rates for child and adolescent immunization.
- Kansas has one of the 20 highest smoking rates in the United States.
Now, there’s a one-of-a-kind collaborative effort to stem the tide: Healthy KC.
Healthy KC is a partnership of the KC Chamber, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC), BikeWalkKC and more than 100 other leaders from business, government, health care, non-profit, and other sectors. It is a community-wide effort to promote physical activity, nutrition, and other healthy lifestyle choices to build healthy people, organizations, and communities in Greater Kansas City.
Healthy KC is tackling five areas of health – Active Living; Healthy Eating; Behavioral Health; Workplace Wellness and Tobacco Use Cessation and Prevention; with a goal of making Greater Kansas City the best place to live, work, start a business, and grow a business – people and businesses are attracted to strong, healthy cities.
BikeWalkKC has been in important partner in this initiative and will continue to be involved as the project moves forward. Executive Director Eric Rogers served as Vice-Chair of the Active Living Action Team and helped develop ideas about incorporating more activity into daily life and transforming the build environment to support more walking and biking. BikeWalkKC was also part of the Workplace Wellness Action Team, which developed a healthy workplace certification program for local employers.
Visit www.wearehealthykc.com to learn more about this ground-breaking new collaboration.