GRAND FORKS, N.D. - A number of North Dakota communities received 2020-2021 Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Caring Foundation Rural Health Grants. The purpose of the grant program is to serve and show benefit to North Dakotans and their health needs while raising awareness for the need for all ages to engage in more daily physical activity and overall wellness.

The grants' primary focus areas are activities, supplies, programs and events that support activity and wellness for all ages. The North Dakota communities earning grants include:

  • Southwest Healthcare Services in Bowman is implementing "Step It Up," an employee wellness event using fitness trackers to encourage friendly competition among departments on steps walked throughout the month.

  • CHI St. Alexius Health in Carrington is offering a weekly book club based on the book "Intuitive Eating" to teach staff tools for mindful eating. To promote physical activity, a step mill will also be purchased for the facility.

  • St. Luke's Medical Center in Crosby will host a 5K fun run/walk fundraising event. Proceeds will go toward skating and hockey equipment for the Blue Line Club and Start a Fire Youth Organization. Two events on skiing and building physical strength also will be held.

  • Unity Medical Center in Grafton is starting a wellness program. The program will include Lunch & Learns at the hospital, culinary medicine classes for staff and the public along with a demonstration booth at the local supermarket, and a physical therapy gym open to staff during hours that are not utilized by patients.

  • West River Health Services in Hettinger will use funds to train and certify six community members to become fitness instructors—three for YogaFIT and three through the online American Council on Exercise Group Fitness program. Two classes per month throughout the year will be taught in their respective certification areas at the Hettinger Armory.

  • Emmons County Public Health in Linton will institute "Stepping On," a workshop designed for people 65 years of age and older who may have had a fall in the past year, have a fear of falling, live in their own residence, and do not have dementia. The seven-week program will have guest speakers from various healthcare and public safety professions provide information and instruction relating to their profession on how to prevent falls.

  • Nelson County Health System in McVille will start an employee nutritional education initiative to provide staff with nutritional information and healthy meal examples, including why choosing healthier foods makes a difference in their health.

  • Presentation Medical Center in Rolla will fund a series of six 5k runs for the community to help combat climbing obesity rates.

  • Sargent County District Health Unit in Forman will buy a rowing machine for the Sargent Central Public School's Community Wellness Center.

  • Mountrail County Medical Center in Stanley will buy playground equipment for Stanley Elementary School.



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