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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan encourages Michigan men to #ShoYoMo and "change the face of men's health" in November

Blues partner with The Parade Company, Detroit Lions and Michigan Institute of Urology Men's Health Foundation to celebrate survivors and raise awareness of early detection

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DETROIT, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is asking men across Michigan to grow moustaches to encourage each other to take control of their health throughout the month of November. The moustaches are symbols of a nationwide movement referred to as "Movember."  Championed by the Movember Foundation, the goal is to "change the face of men's health" by raising awareness among men of the dangers of health risks that go undetected and untreated.

The Michigan Blues are adding to the camaraderie of Movember by extending the campaign to social media, where men can use the hashtag #ShoYoMo on Twitter to engage each other and share comments and photos of their moustache-growing efforts.  All month long, the Blues' online community, www.ahealthiermichigan.org, will focus on men's health concerns.  The Blues' iconic Jefferson Avenue billboard in Detroit will also "show its mo" for men's health throughout the month long campaign.  The campaign will crescendo at Ford Field, where the Blues and the Detroit Lions will partner to have men "make the pledge" for better health, and the first 2,500 people will receive a limited edition Matthew Stafford/Movember fathead at the Thanksgiving Day game.

"Movember and the Movember Foundation aim to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, reduce the number of preventable deaths in men and encourage them to adopt healthier lifestyles," said Daniel J. Loepp, BCBSM president and CEO. "Men make only half the visits they should to their doctors for preventive checkups.  We've got such an opportunity to save lives just by making men more committed to their own health needs."

The goal of "Movember" is to change the face of men's health, and each week, the Blues will call attention to one aspect of men's health, citing that "real men" take control of their health by:

  • Getting checked: Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men, and early detection is key.
  • Getting informed: Men should have an annual check-up and screenings at major age milestones, as well as talk with their families about their health and discussions with physicians.
  • Knowing their numbers: Men need to keep track of their numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index (BMI), as these numbers can provide a glimpse of their health status and risk for certain diseases. Men should ask their doctors what tests are needed and how often they are needed, and ask about high/low numbers, ask what the meaning/implication is, and work with their doctors to make recommendations to get their numbers to healthy ranges.
  • Dealing with depression: Men should ask for help when they have a problem; talk about issues they are dealing with (work, life, stresses); talk about their feelings; acknowledge physical symptoms and feelings.

Blue Cross is taking a multi-pronged educational approach to men's health this year — one that includes education, sponsorships, partnerships, fundraising and more. Here's a look at some of the Blues' efforts:

AHealthierMichigan.org stories of strength (Nov. 1-30)
AHealthierMichigan.org and MIBluesPerspectives.com will have a series of ongoing stories in November featuring men's health survivor stories, as well as looking at men's health research being conducted in Michigan. Tips for supporting the health of the men and boys in your life, and notable Michigan Movember participants will be part of the month-long dialogue.

#ShoYoMo contest on AHealthierMichigan.org (Nov. 1-30)
The Blues will host a weekly contest on AHealthierMichigan.org throughout November encouraging followers and readers to show their moustaches and tell their stories of support for men's health month. Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Blues' executive vice president (and former Detroit Lion) Ken Dallafior will kick off the month with a video message.  A men's health challenge will be issued weekly on AHealthierMichigan.org, encouraging men to show their support and #ShoYoMo on Twitter and Facebook. Participants will have the chance to win a number of prizes, including, signed Matthew Stafford memorabilia.

Jefferson Avenue billboard (Nov. 1-30)
The iconic BCBSM Jefferson billboard will show its support throughout November by showing its "mo" to help change the face of men's health.

A Healthier Michigan Radio "Mo Show" on WJR – (Nov. 5)
On Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m., the Blues will sponsor a special program on WJR to discuss men's health and ways men can take control of their health. The show will feature Ken Dallafior, BCBSM Executive Vice President, and former Detroit Lion; Dr. Scott Eathorne from St. John Health Providence, Dr. Michael Lutz from the Michigan Institute of Urology Men's Health Foundation and Eric Drieselman, a longtime Movember participant from Team Detroit.

College football (tailgates Nov. 10 and Nov. 17)
To educate and create additional awareness, the Blues will provide men's health information handouts and blue moustaches at the Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 University of Michigan pre-game tailgates.  Information will also be available at the Michigan State University game on November 17. Fans will be encouraged to take photos of their "mo" and share them on Twitter using the hashtag #ShoYoMo or on AHealthierMichigan.org and its Facebook page.

America's Thanksgiving Parade (Nov. 22)
Spectators can expect to see a large blue moustache adorning the Blues' running team float, and a team of volunteers will be among the crowd, encouraging attendees to take photos, Tweet their Movember moustache using #ShoYoMo, and visit AHealthierMichigan.org to view their photo featured in Changing the Face graphic.

The Blues plan to incorporate a large blue moustache as part of the Blues' annual running float in the 2012 Turkey Trot.

Detroit Lions Annual Thanksgiving Day Game (Nov. 22)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is partnering with the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day to encourage men to make the pledge to improve their health. The Blues will be giving away limited edition Matthew Stafford/Movember fatheads (5"x7" size) to the first 2,500 people who take the pledge. Fans will also have an opportunity to "change their face" to support men's health by having their face painted to include their own "mo" at the game,

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan



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