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KC Chamber To Tackle Health Issues

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is asking the public what its priorities should be as the first step in a new health initiative.

Healthy KC is a collaboration introduced Wednesday by the Chamber, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and local health leaders. The group will focus on improving health throughout the metro area.

“The message behind the new Healthy KC Commission is, ‘We’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired,’” Chamber CEO Jim Heeter said in a statement Wednesday.

The group will spend the rest of the year soliciting the public’s input on its website,, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

While Healthy KC’s collaborative, metro-wide approach is similar to the Mid-America Regional Council’s Regional Health Care Initiative, Scott Hall, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Chamber, says there is room for multiple health collaborations.

“We’re very deliberately trying not to duplicate the efforts of other people, but instead, this project is one where we take work that’s going on in the community and elevate it,” Hall says.

The Commission’s 16 commissioners include Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Sly James, Kansas City, Kan. Mayor Mark Holland, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City CEO David Gentile, Truman Medical Centers CEO John Bluford, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City CEO Dr. Bridget McCandless and REACH Healthcare Foundation CEO Brenda Sharpe.

Following a period of public comment, the commission will convene in early 2015 to establish an action plan.

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