The official Blue & You Fitness Challenge wrap up press conference was held yesterday at the Statehouse Convention Center. This year marked the 15th anniversary of the Challenge, and hundreds of Arkansans from across the state participated. HAA Board members and Blue & You Fitness Challenge participants, Dr. Nate Smith, Curtis Barnett and Dr. Joe Thompson, were at the event to congratulate everyone who participated in this year’s Challenge.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services, an HAA partner, was winner of the Founder’s Challenge, which is a competition among Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield, the Arkansas Department of Health, and the Arkansas Department of Human Services. DHS Director Cindy Gillespie proudly accepted the award and congratulated DHS employees for their dedication to the Challenge, as well as their commitment to health and setting a good example for others to follow.

This year, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, also an HAA partner, hosted the Healthy Active Arkansas Hospital and School Challenge, which encouraged hospitals and schools to participate in the Blue & You Fitness Challenge. In all, 22 hospitals and 46 schools joined. Winners of the ACHI Healthy Active Arkansas Hospital and School Challenge were determined by highest overall percentage of staff participation in three size categories: small, medium and large.

“At ACHI, we believe that hospitals must lead by example when it comes to health and fitness,” said Dr. Joe Thompson, ACHI president and CEO. “Similarly, schools are an ideal environment to foster lifelong healthy habits. This contest complements the Healthy Active Arkansas plan for reducing obesity and improving the health of Arkansans, two of our passions,” Thompson added.

Hospital Challenge winners included:

  • Small: Baptist Health Extended Care Hospital, Little Rock
  • Medium: Baptist Health Medical Center, Conway
  • Large: St. Bernard’s Medical Center, Jonesboro

School Challenge winners included:

  • Small: Bob Courtway Middle School, Conway
  • Medium: Emerson Elementary School, Taylor
  • Large: Chicot Elementary School, Mabelvale

Congratulations to everyone who participated! While the Blue & You Fitness Challenge may be over for this year, it’s never to late to start adding more physical activity to your daily routine. As little as 20 minutes a day can improve your health, and help us build a healthier, more active Arkansas!


a group of people standing with award plaques
Several winning groups from around the state attended the 2018 Blue & You Fitness Challenge award ceremony at the Statehouse Convention Center on July 5.