What’s it Like to Climb 70 Flights of Stairs? Blues Employees Do it to Support the American Lung Association

Four teams of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employees raised nearly $11,000 for the American Lung Association as they joined other teams from the Detroit area for the annual Fight for Air Climb in Detroit.

Successful teams at the event climbed 1,035 steps to the top floor of the Renaissance Center, Michigan’s tallest building. In addition to devoting months to training, the four BCBSM-affiliated teams raised a grand total of $10,994 for the American Lung Association. The funds will support research into the causes, prevention and cure of lung diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

So how did the teams do it? Below are testimonials from employees who participated in the event. 

Kristie Stocker (Team Captain for Climbatize)

“I trained with my team co-captain, Autumn Molnar. We would climb the 22 flights to the top of the (BCBSM) Detroit Tower two times in a row, five days a week.

“When the going got tough on climb day, I remembered my Aunt Pat who died of lung-related complications, my uncle Jim who’s currently fighting lung cancer, and my best friend Brandy who suffers from asthma. I also remembered everyone who donated to support me and it pushed me to the top.

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BluesWeek: Helping Health Care Consumers Benefit from Patient Safety Awareness Week

Starting today, we’ll be publishing BluesWeek, a weekly snapshot of initiatives, events and other newsworthy items, here on Blues Perspectives. It previously was an email advisory sent mostly to news media.

March 4-10 is Patient Safety Awareness Week, and the Blues will be spotlighting the issue with a series of blog posts featuring helpful tips and other resources for patients. Watch for posts here and on A Healthier Michigan on topics like things health care consumers can do to stay safe.

BCBSM is offering tips for how to “Get Your Plate in Shape” and make good food choices during National Nutrition Month. Registered dietitian Grace Derocha has simple suggestions available to help take the complexity out of nutrition. Occasional blog posts exploring the theme will also appear on A Healthier Michigan.

The Blues Community Challenge wraps up Saturday, March 10 in Lansing. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will award grants to the nine participating Lansing-area communities to support public health and wellness. The ceremony takes place at 9 a.m. at the Lansing Mall and includes health screenings, health and wellness displays, a celebratory walk through the mall and more.

There are two more Polar Plunge events taking place March 17 — one in Kalamazoo and another in Marquette. Participants jump into frigid waters to benefit Special Olympics Michigan. Blue Cross is encouraging employees and others to participate as part of a yearlong sponsorship of Special Olympics Michigan’s Healthy Athletes Program.

In case you missed it…

The March installment of the Healthier Michigan Radio Show takes an in-depth look at efforts to transform health care in Michigan. Joining host Ann Thomas were Dr. Jean Malouin, co-chair of the Michigan Primary Care Transformation project; Dr. Gina Buccalo, chief medical officer at St. John Providence Partners in Care; Dr. Kim Coleman, a Bloomfield Hills pediatrician who is part of the Blues’ Patient-Centered Medical Home program; and Marianne Udow, director of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation. You can still catch the show Sunday, March 11 at 9 p.m. on WOOD-AM in Grand Rapids, or download a podcast version or listen online here.

There are just a few short weeks remaining in the “Make the Play for Healthy Habits” kid video contest on A Healthier Michigan. Children in grades 4 through 8 have through March 25 to upload a video that creatively demonstrates their ideas to make Michigan healthier. The public will have the opportunity to vote on the final 10 contestants, and the winner gets a school assembly visit from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and an opportunity to guest blog on A Healthier Michigan.

Photo by UMHealthSystem