Amy Barczy

Amy Barczy is a brand journalist at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and writes for AHealthierMichigan.org and MIBluesPerspectives.com. Prior to joining Blue Cross, she was a statewide news reporter for MLive.com. She has a decade of storytelling experience in local news media markets including Lansing, Grand Rapids, Holland, Ann Arbor and Port Huron.
Health and Wellness

Michigan Mom with Rare Heart Disease Credits Her Baby with Saving Her Life

West Michigan mom Amanda Banic, 35, almost died from a rare, genetic disease that caused her heart to tear apart – and she credits her baby with saving her life.

Community

Dr. King’s Detroit Legacy

The city of Detroit has a deep connection to the civil rights movement – especially to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are some of the major ways King influenced the civil rights movement in the Motor City, according to the Detroit Historical Society.

Health and Wellness

Detroit Native Builds ‘Slow AF Run Club’ Community to Bust Stereotypes 

Detroit native Martinus Evans started running at 300 pounds 10 years ago, and has gone on to run eight marathons and founded a 25,000-member online running community called the “Slow AF Run Club.” The community is inclusive, and empowers people to run “in the body they have right now.” 

Community

Living with Spina Bifida: Holland Woman Advocates for Herself, Others

Lucia Rios has spent her entire life learning about spina bifida, the disorder she was born with – and she’s still finding out new information.

Cropped shot of three friends applying suntan lotion
Prevention

5 Ways to Choose a Safer Sunscreen

The summer sun can do serious damage to your skin if you are not proactive. These five tips can keep you safe, healthy and unburnt.

The Michigan Spirits senior women's basketball team practices at the Lasky Recreation Center in Detroit.
Fitness

Life and Basketball: Senior Detroit Women Play to Stay Young

For two hours every Monday afternoon at the Lasky Recreation Center in northeast Detroit, time doesn’t matter – only basketball.

Women play pickleball at the Michigan Senior Olympics event during March 2023 in Rochester at Lifetime Fitness.
Fitness

Winning Pickleball Tournaments in their 70s: How the Sport Keeps Seniors Young

Staying active and making new friends: these seniors are reaping the benefits from pickleball, a sport that surged in popularity during the pandemic.

Family with two young children smeared with chocolate taking a photo
Home and Family

Plan a Healthy ‘Yes Day’ With Your Kids

There are plenty of ways to take the carefree “Yes Day” concept into summer for a healthy way to connect with your kids. Here are some suggestions.

Woman wipes down her keyboard at her work station while spring cleaning
Community

6 Things You’re Forgetting to Spring Clean

There may be some parts of your life that may be more cluttered than you realize – and causing you stress. Here are six things to spring clean.

Donna Mc Minn
Fitness

Diving into Competitive Swimming During Retirement

Ask Donna Mc Minn why she took up competitive swimming during her retirement and she’ll grin and say: “In the pool, no one can see you sweat."

Woman talks with a nutritionist about colon broom
Prevention

Colon Broom Craze: The Health Effects of the Social Media Trend

Laxatives can cause short-term weight loss due to lost water. Overuse or improper use can lead to dehydration and ultimately put you at risk for colon cancer.

Bob Van Camp plays table tennis at the Older Persons Commission
Fitness

Table Tennis Helps Michigan Man Lose Weight, Stay Active in Retirement

Don’t call it ping pong. This is table tennis. On a recent weekday afternoon several men, aged 50-plus, are breaking a sweat.

Man lying on the couch with a high fever checks a thermometer
Prevention

Unexpected Side Effects of Having a High Fever

Fevers are a normal immune response to infection, but high fevers can be problematic and can have some unexpected side effects. Here's what you need to know.

Honeycrisp apples
Food and Recipes

Why Honeycrisp is the Best Apple

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion – except when it comes to apples. Once you’ve tried a Honeycrisp, you’re never going back.

Mother breastfeeds and plays with her newborn baby
Home and Family

The Truth About Breastfeeding and Weight Loss

Breastfeeding does burn a lot of calories, but expecting weight loss can set unrealistic expectations and get in the way of your relationship with your baby.

Woman cooks on a non-stick pain on the stove at home
Food and Recipes

Are You Using Your Non-Stick Cookware Safely?

Pots and pans made with a non-stick coating are the standard option for most American households – but recent research has raised concerns about their safety.

Young woman and her baby- sitting at the table with a breast pump
Home and Family

Essentials for Pumping and Storing Breastmilk

Pumping and storing breastmilk does take additional supplies and planning – but can help provide infants with many of the same benefits of direct breastfeeding.

Young woman looks into the fridge wondering why am I hungry all the time
Food and Recipes

Four Reasons Why You’re Hungry In Between Meals

Feeling hungry all the time could be caused by a variety of factors – from the type of food you eat, your stress level, how much water you drink and more.

BCN Cascade Grand Rapids - employees stand next to a pinwheel garden in the grass in front of the office for Child Abuse Prevention month
Community

Pinwheel Gardens Symbolize Our Role in Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

This April, look for gardens of blue pinwheels in communities across Michigan — reminders that we all play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect.

Young woman rests as her baby safely sleeps in her bassinet next to the bed
Home and Family

Baby Sleep Safety: What Parents Need to Know

It's important for parents and caregivers to take steps to keep their babies as safe as possible. Here are the do's and don'ts of baby sleep safety.

Senior woman knits with a group of friends engaging in a hobby as self-care
Mind

Winter Self-Care Guide: Hobbies  

Taking time to engage in an activity that brings you joy – like hobbies – can be an incredible act of self-care that has proven benefits for your mind and body.

Person writing in their daily appointment book to keep up with time management
Prevention

Winter Self-Care Guide: Time Management   

Time management is a tool to give yourself control over what you can – empowering yourself to be able to handle the stresses of the unexpected.

Gender fluid individual speaks with a friend at a coffee shop about setting boundaries as a form of self-care
Mind

Winter Self-Care Guide: Setting Boundaries  

It can be easy to get wrapped up what you can do versus what is best for your health. Setting boundaries is a healthy part of any relationship.

Woman folds and sorts laundry to declutter her room
Mind

Winter Self-Care Guide: Decluttering  

How tidy our spaces are around us – in our car, in our homes and in our workspaces – truly can affect our mental health. Clutter can make us feel anxious.

At home - young man engaging in self-care by taking care of his skin in the bathroom
Prevention

Winter Self-Care Guide: Skin Health   

Have you ever washed your face and felt your mood improve? The simple act of caring for our skin can have a big impact on our mental health.

Couple making the bed together
Prevention

Winter Self-Care Guide: Sleep  

Getting a good night’s rest doesn’t start when you hit the lights at the end of the night: you need to lay the groundwork for good sleep throughout the day.

Senior women exercising with dumbbells at home
Fitness

Winter Self-Care Guide: Exercise  

Daily exercise doesn’t mean spending an hour lifting weights. Moving your body for 30 minutes a day in moderate ways can improve your mental and physical health

Woman sitting on the floor journaling for self care
Mind

Winter Self-Care Guide: Journaling  

Journaling is a powerful tool to help process emotions. It can help you reduce stress, solve problems more effectively and resolve disagreements with others.

Malaysian muslim woman practicing guided meditation via laptop at her home
Mind

Winter Self-Care Guide: Meditation

As we start the New Year, one of the best ways to set your intention for 2022 and ground your thoughts is by starting a meditation practice.

Family lying and playing on a hammock in the woods
Mind

Lazy Summer Days: Why It’s Healthy to Rest and Recharge  

Americans are notorious for being preoccupied with work, which means they’re missing out on the critical benefits of truly taking a day off to rest.

Female cyclist wearing neon colors riding on a bike path
Fitness

Bike Safety: What Drivers and Cyclists Need to Know  

Riding your bike is a great way to get to know your community and get in some low-impact exercise. Here are some simple guidelines to follow to stay safe.

Woman sleeping on her side in bed
Fitness

5 Ways Sleep is Important for Good Health 

Not getting enough sleep doesn’t just affect your day to day life. Sleep has a much bigger impact on your overall health; and most of us aren’t getting enough.

Middle-aged man sits on a couch talking to a woman therapist who is holding a clipboard.
Mind

Why It’s Important to Talk About Your Mental Health

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, yet we approach them in very different ways.

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