The city of Oxford will receive a Healthy Hometown Award from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation at noon Thursday on the steps of City Hall on the Square.
The Award recognizes and rewards exemplary community health and wellness, and includes a $25,000 grant that will be used to install outdoor fitness equipment along the bike path near the Oxford Activity Center.
“On behalf of the Board of Alderman and the entire community, we are honored to be named a Healthy Hometown,” said Mayor George P. Patterson. “We are working in conjunction with the University to create more opportunities for everyone in the community to become more active and aware of health issues. We thank the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation for this opportunity and grant.”
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation noted the City’s many healthy assets, such as area trails and paths, and worksite wellness programs at the City, University and area businesses among its accomplishments in creating a healthy community culture. The Foundation also noted the improvements in school nutrition and nutrition education for Oxford School District students brought about by Good Food for Oxford Schools.
The award presentation will feature Sheila Grogan, executive director of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. A community walk led by Mayor Pat Patterson will follow the ceremony.
“The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is proud to partner with the City of Oxford in celebrating its success and accomplishments in creating a culture of wellness in the community,” said Grogan. “We look forward to the continued success of Oxford’s community wellness initiatives.”
Judges for the 2015 Healthy Hometown Awards included Meriden Zerner, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, of the renowned Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas where she is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellness Coach; Coach Ken Carter of Marlin, Texas whose life was the basis of the 2005 film Coach Carter, business owner, educator and motivational speaker for youth about the importance of health, wellness and academics; and Jordan Friedman, MPH, President of The Stress Coach, based out of New York City, producing training programs related to stress management for businesses and universities.
The Healthy Hometown Award will provide momentum to HealthyOxford, a new coalition of partners from the City, the University, area businesses, running and biking clubs, farmers markets and nutrition programs, and other groups and individuals working in wellness-related fields. HealthyOxford will continue to promote health and wellness in Oxford through a combination of programs and projects designed to make getting active easy and fun for all citizens.
To learn more about the Healthy Hometown Awards and this year’s winners, visit the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation website at www.healthiermississippi.org.