Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota honors FirstLight Health Systems for bike helmet program in east central Minnesota

October 11, 2017

FirstLight Health Systems of Mora featured among remarkable organizations recognized for moving health forward on the Blue Cross “Trailblazer Tour”




As part of a statewide campaign to shine a spotlight on health champions, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) is recognizing FirstLight Health Systems as a Trailblazer helping to move health forward in the community.


Blue Cross’ “Trailblazer Tour” is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to making a healthy difference in the neighborhoods where Minnesotans live, work and play. Trailblazer designations recognize organizations throughout the state that demonstrate noteworthy innovation and collaboration in the realm of health.


FirstLight Health Systems was selected as a Trailblazer for its Helmet Headquarters program, which was designed to increase bicycle safety among children. By encouraging and rewarding helmet use, FirstLight is taking an important first step to help prevent head injuries. 


Nurse practitioner Sandy Moore spoke up at a FirstLight provider meeting about her growing concerns with preventable head injuries among children.  As one of the largest health systems in East Central Minnesota, FirstLight knew it could make a difference and increase helmet usage, so the organization approached three retail partners to help facilitate a free helmet program in the communities it serves (Mora, Hinckley and Pine City). For one week last spring, families could obtain a free helmet voucher for children under the age of 10. The one-week campaign was so successful, FirstLight decided to make it a sustained effort


Helmet usage is now brought up in well-child visits, with doctors handing out vouchers to patients in need. In addition, FirstLight EMS staff are out and about in the community when not on an active call, presenting children they spot wearing helmets with certificates with a free treat from Dairy Queen.



Because of FirstLight’s efforts to move health forward, Blue Cross is recognizing the organization as part of this year’s Trailblazer Tour.


“Our recognition of FirstLight shows that local communities serve as the best catalysts for transformation with solutions that are resourceful and effective,” said Scott Keefer, vice president of public affairs and communications at Blue Cross. “By recognizing FirstLight, we hope to spark a meaningful conversation across the state about the role of communities like Mora working together toward improving the health of Minnesotans.”


All Trailblazer stories, which include everything from unique workplace health clinics to sustainable farming, are online at Follow Blue Cross on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for Trailblazer updates or sign up to receive email alerts when new stories are released.

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