What Is Healthy KC?
Healthy KC is a partnership of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC), and a number of regional health and wellness leaders. It is an effort to advocate for real solutions that help shape individual, organizational, and environmental health change through a collaborative, community-wide partnership. It aims to create a culture of health and wellness in Greater Kansas City.
Beginning in January 2014, the Healthy KC Commission researched existing programs, successes, and areas of need in the Kansas City metro area, along with benchmarking information from peer cities and feedback from community input sessions. In August of 2014, Action Teams convened to develop specific recommendations for Kansas City.
The Need For Healthy KC?
Healthy KC is promoting the wellbeing of the entire region—including Missouri and Kansas—at a time when national health rankings show a decline in the overall health of citizens.
The United Health Foundation named Missouri and Kansas among the states with the most significant decline in relative health status over the past 25 years. According to a recent report by the Foundation, as noted in The Kansas City Star’s January 3rd article, 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 and according to the Trust for America’s Health, the state budgets less money per capita on public health than any other state in the nation.
Kansas, meanwhile, is cited as having one of the lowest rates for child and adolescent immunization, one of the 20 highest smoking rates in the United States, and ranks 44th among the states in public health spending per capita.