Becky Dantonio Helps Lansing Communities Get Fit

Becky Dantonio and husband Mark Dantonio, Michigan State’s head football coach, attended the 2011 Community Partners in Health Winter Warm-Up kick-off event at the Lansing Mall on Feb. 12. The free program offers resources to encourage residents to adopt physical activity, healthy eating and other positive habits into a daily routine.

The Winter Warm-Up features the Blues’ Community Challenge — an 8-week contest between nine greater Lansing communities. Teams from each community will compete by signing up community members to log physical activity. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is awarding grants to all participating community teams. Larger awards will go to those teams that log the most miles. The grants will support public health and wellness projects in each community. More than 300 attendees had the opportunity to participate in six health screening stations and get baseline measurements of their blood pressure, fitness, body composition, balance, nutrition and flexibility. Becky Dantonio is the official spokeswoman for the Warm-Up. “As a community we can work together to encourage health and wellness throughout our great state of Michigan,” she said. “It’s much easier to stay motivated when you belong to a group or are participating in some type of personal or group wellness challenge. The Warm-Up is a great way to support and reinforce healthy habits in our greater Lansing community.”

Win Prizes For Healthy Habits

The Blues’ Community Challenge offers five individual prizes to registered participants in each community team. Each qualified participant will be entered into a drawing for great prizes at the Celebration Event April 2 at the Lansing Mall. A few prizes include:

  • Lansing Mall and Playmakers gift certificates
  • Ingham County Park annual passes
  • Cookbooks from the American Heart Association and American Caner Society
  • One-week passes to local fitness centers

The nine greater Lansing communities participating are:

  • Charlotte
  • East Lansing
  • Grand Ledge
  • Lansing
  • Williamston
  • Delhi Township
  • Delta Township
  • Lansing Township
  • Meridian Township

Check out the video from last year’s Winter Warm-Up award ceremony in which nine community leaders received grants for health and wellness programs within their communities: Experts say identifying a positive routine and sticking with it for 21 days will initiate a “habit.” Why not make health and wellness your best habit of 2011? Register today for the Blues’ Community Challenge.

The BCBSM Team Warms up at the Motown Winter Blast

BCBSM Health Coaches, Grace Derocha and Angie Jenkins at the 2011 Motown Winter Blast

BCBSM Health Coaches, Grace Derocha and Angie Jenkins at the 2011 Motown Winter Blast

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was one of the sponsors of the 2011 Motown Winter Blast. As our dietitian and health coach, Grace Derocha, pointed out during her snow-shoeing demonstration for WXYZ Channel 7, we proudly support events that celebrate healthy lifestyles and strengthen Michigan communities.

Teaming up with Detroit Medical Center and Livio Radio

Our team also partnered with the Detroit Medical Center to host a “Warm Up” at the Compuware building on Saturday afternoon. Children were invited to participate in a health quiz and take a break from the cold.

Throughout the day, BCBSM health coaches, Grace Derocha and Angela Jenkins mingled with attendees, talking up good health, answering questions about exercise and nutrition and quizzing people on the basics of good health.

Grace and Angie offered everyone a free pair of ear buds, courtesy of Livio Radio, an Internet radio company based in Ferndale, and gave them a chance to enter to win a Livio Radio featuring Pandora. The team at Livio selected Elizabeth Cantrall of Clinton Township as the lucky winner.

Checking out the New Digs

More than 800 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employees and family members visited their new offices at the Renaissance Center while at the event on Saturday. As part of our commitment to Michigan’s core cities, we’re moving 3,000 employees from Southfield downtown Detroit this Spring.

Having a Blast at the Winter Blast

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the event. We hope you continue to stay active through the end of winter and beyond. Were you able to check out the Motown Winter Blast this year? Let us know how you participate in the community and stay active during these cold Winter months.

Happy American Heart Month: Community Events Roundup for the Month of February

Snow AngelNo matter where you are in Michigan, there are plenty activities to get your heart pumping a little faster. Join Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and others throughout the state to fight the winter blahs and give your heart a workout.

Winter Warm-Up, Lansing

BCBSM is teaming up with the Community Partners in Health for the 2011 Winter Warm-Up starting Feb. 12 at the Lansing Mall. The Winter Warm-Up is a free eight-week walking and physical activity program that provides tools, information and a community-based support network for all participants. Nine communities from the greater Lansing area will compete for BCBSM wellness grants to finance public health and wellness projects in the community as part of the Blues’ Community Challenge.

Residents from participating communities can register at

Get Moving U.P., Upper Peninsula

Forty two worksite teams across the state are competing through the end of Feb. in an eight-week wellness challenge [PDF].  By the end of week five, 539 participants already logged a total of 28,668 miles.  Participants are learning how to incorporate more moderate and/or vigorous activity into their daily routine. Everyone must reach a minimal goal of 30 minutes on at least 5 days per week.

Blue Cross will donate $1,000 to a health-related charity chosen by the top three competing worksites. The $3,000 donation is part of the Blues unique mission to improve the health of Michigan residents, increase access to care and focus on reducing health care costs and improving health care quality across the state.  The top individual performers will also receive prizes.

Wigglers Win, Detroit

Getting fit is something the whole family can do together. The Vistas Nuevas Head Start program is featuring a new bilingual, family-oriented fitness program called Wigglers Win! The next event, sponsored by Matrix Human Services and the Michigan Blues, is Feb. 24 at 5:00 p.m.

Motown Winter Blast, Detroit

BCBSM is a proud sponsor of the Motown Winter Blast, Feb. 11-13. Fun winter activities include the Ambassador Bridge Snow Slide and ice skating around Campus Martius..

Here at BCBSM, we’re committed to making everyone in Michigan healthier. That’s why we support  community wellness initiatives that encourage both children and adults to get moving, eat better and live healthier lives.

Photo Credit: bookmama

Promoting Wellness From the Inside Out: My Role as a Dietitian at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

I love what I do because I get to teach others about topics from healthy eating to exercise as a dietitian for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Wellness and Care Management Consulting team, but I also get to learn from the very smart people around me as well.

I thought it might be interesting to share some of the ways I get to help promote wellness with my fellow BCBSM employees, individuals and communities across the state.

Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition II

I feel so blessed to have participated as a health coach for the Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition II in 2010.  I had the honor of coaching the eventual winner of the competition, Steve Anderson on his way to victory. He lost 56 pounds during the 12 week competition. This was an experience that changed his life for the better.

In the end, not only did I help Steve, but I also learned so much. BCBSM promotes wellness for its employees and provides the tools needed for everyone to adopt healthier lifestyles.

BCBSM Wellness Week

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan celebrated Wellness Week at the Southfield and Detroit locations from January 24-28.  This was a perfect opportunity for employees to learn more about how to adopt  healthy lifestyles.  Each day during the week focused on different health-related topics, including:

  • Disease Prevention
  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Rejuvenation
  • Stress Management

These topics are key in building a culture of wellness at the workplace. Does your employer advocate a culture of wellness at work? I’d love for you to share how your workplace supports healthy living.

As a health coach, dietitian and a certified diabetes educator, I was excited to participate in BCBSM’s Wellness Week as a presenter, but also as an employee. One of the most important steps of changing behaviors is taking time to learn, and then taking it a step further by acting on what is learned.

Wellness Celebrated by BCBSM Employees at University of Detroit

On January 16 2011, BCBSM employees were “Celebrating Wellness” at the University of Detroit Mercy versus Valparaiso game. This game was the kick-off to Healthy Weight Week.

At this game, I was an honorary guest coach with Tricia Keith, the vice president of Corporate Secretary and Services.  Sitting courtside was a blast. I love sports and the passion shown by the players. I received an award for the work I did with Steve Anderson, Detroit’s Biggest Loser and for helping Blue Cross lead Michigan to a healthier future.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan continues to advocate for a healthier you in the workplace, in the community and at home in your personal life. Let’s continue to work together to truly build a healthier Michigan.

Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you!

Grace Derocha is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes and weight-loss management educator at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. She is also a featured blogger on A Healthier Michigan where she shares her tips for living a healthier life. Continue reading about Grace on A Healthier Michigan.


A day in the Life of a BCBSM ID Card: Visiting the Dentist’s Office

Part 4: Dental Insurance

In part four of the A day in the life of a BCBSM ID card series, the ID card visits the dentist office. Dentists play a key role in keeping you healthy. That’s right. Oral health plays a very important role in overall health. Some medical conditions have symptoms that appear in the mouth. Regular dental visits can help spot oral health problems early on when treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable. Research suggests there may be an association between gum disease and serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

In parts one through three of this series, we followed the BCBSM ID card everywhere from the primary care physician to the eye doctor to shopping for healthy products:

Part 1: Doctor’s office

Part 2: Eye doctor visit

Part 3: Healthy Blue XtrasSM

The Blues ID card helps you make the total body health connection with access to quality medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage.  Even better, you can conveniently access all your benefits with just one ID card.

Dental and Vision Blues ID Card

For information about dental coverage with the Blues, visit

Special thanks to the staff of George E. Krull, DDS – Pediatric Dentistry for participating in the filming of this video.