GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Michigan is fifth in the nation for having the highest number of residents who are obese. Only half of Michigan’s children get physical exercise every day. Michigan residents are greatly at risk for costly and life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, which are among the leading causes of death in the state.
“We hope to motivate and inspire positive lifestyle changes, at home, at work, and at school.”
Those searching for answers to Michigan’s obesity crisis will find them through ShapeMichigan, an initiative uniting business leaders, health care providers, educators, students and families in an effort to improve the health of local communities.
“ShapeMichigan is an initiative focused on creating awareness and finding real-life solutions to our state’s obesity crisis,” said Paula Murphy, vice president of marketing and corporate communications for Priority Health. “We hope to motivate and inspire positive lifestyle changes, at home, at work, and at school.”
Through ShapeMichigan, Priority Health is collaborating with Mercy Health and Spectrum Health, to present the area’s leading experts in a robust discussion around the obesity epidemic and its impact on our businesses, schools and community.
“Mercy Health is committed to helping our patients and members of our community make healthier lifestyle choices,” said Roger Spoelman, CEO of Mercy Health. “We’re pleased to partner with Priority Health on this important initiative. ShapeMichigan is a perfect forum to gather with fellow community leaders to begin this imperative discussion and to continue to tackle the obesity epidemic.”
ShapeMichigan is taking place on January 11, 2013 at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. in Grand Rapids, Mich. Business, church and community leaders, school administrators and legislators are invited to attend a morning session presented free of charge, featuring a special screening of the HBO documentary, The Weight of the Nation, followed by a panel discussion and breakout sessions focused on improving the health of our community.
“Our mission at Spectrum Health is to improve the health of the communities we serve. Supporting Priority Health’s ShapeMichigan initiative is a step forward in addressing the pressing health problems caused by escalating childhood obesity,” said Tom Hanley, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility.
Governor Rick Snyder commended the initiative in a letter saying, “Michigan’s plan requires collaboration with our public and private partners, and having the support of Priority Health’s ShapeMichigan initiative is critical as we work to inform and motivate Michigan residents. Through continued relentless positive action, together we can create a social movement for healthier living in the Great Lakes State.”
ShapeMichigan will run alongside ShowSpan’s LivingWell - Grand Rapids, a Health & Fitness Show, open Noon – 8 p.m. on January 11, and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on January 12. ShapeMichigan sponsors will have adjacent booth space within the larger event in a “village” format and ShapeMichigan attendees will have free admission to the show. They and the general public will be able to meet health experts, sample products, and learn more about getting fit and eating a healthy diet in this information-packed expo.
The Grand Rapids ShapeMichigan is the second event to be held statewide. The first took place in Traverse City on November 14, 2012, with Priority Health collaborating with Munson Medical Center.
For updates and information on ShapeMichigan events, or to share tips and personal weight management success stories, visit the ShapeMichigan website (ShapeMichigan.com) and Facebook page (Facebook.com/ShapeMichigan).
About Priority Health
Priority Health is an award-winning health plan nationally recognized for creating innovative solutions that impact health care costs while maximizing customer experience. It offers a broad portfolio of products for employer groups and individuals including Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. As a nonprofit company, Priority Health serves more than 600,000 people and continues to be rated among the best health plans in the nation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Visit priorityhealth.com to learn more.
About Mercy Health
Dedicated to providing more personalized care with easier access to specialists and a seamless patient experience, Mercy Health is a multi-location health care system serving West Michigan with five hospital campuses, 58 physician offices, 1,174 physicians, over 800 hospital beds, and 7,200 associates. Mercy Health includes all Mercy Health Partners hospitals and physician offices in Muskegon, Shelby and Norton Shores; Saint Mary's Health Care locations; and Advantage Health/Saint Mary's Medical Group. The system provides services throughout West Michigan including specialties in oncology, cardiology, and orthopedics. Mercy Health is a member of Trinity Health, the fourth largest Catholic health care system in the country. mercyhealth.com
About Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of nine hospitals including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, a state of the art children’s hospital that opened in January 2011, and 140 service sites; the Spectrum Health Medical Group and West Michigan Heart, physician groups totaling more than 700 providers; and Priority Health, a health plan with 600,000 members. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer with 19,000 employees. The organization provided $204 million in community benefit during its 2012 fiscal year. spectrumhealth.org