ShapeMichigan Kicks off in Grand Rapids January 11, 2013

<0> Priority Health, Mercy Health and Spectrum Health to host HBO documentary and educational panel discussions to address obesity epidemic </0>


<0> Priority HealthAmy Miller(616) 464-8571 </0>

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.

Those searching for answers to Michigan’s obesity crisis will find them through Michigan, an initiative uniting business leaders, health care providers, educators, students and families in an effort to improve the health of local communities.

“Michigan 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 Michigan, 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. Michigan is a perfect forum to gather with fellow community leaders to begin this imperative discussion and to continue to tackle the obesity epidemic.”

. 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 HBOdocumentary, , 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 Michigan 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 Michigan 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.”

Michigan will run alongside ShowSpan’s , open Noon – 8 p.m. on January 11, and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on January 12. Michigan sponsors will have adjacent booth space within the larger event in a “village” format and Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan events, or to share tips and personal weight management success stories, visit the Michigan website () and Facebook page ().

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 to learn more.

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.

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 , a state of the art children’s hospital that opened in January 2011, and 140 service sites; the and , physician groups totaling more than 700 providers; and , 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.