Starkville Selected as a Healthy Hometown
The City of Starkville has been selected as a “Healthy Hometown” in the
fourth year of the Healthy Hometown program, presented by the Blue Cross &
Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. The selection was based on the city’s
application, as judged by a panel of known health and wellness champions
from around the country. Starkville will receive a $25,000 grant from the
Foundation to support ongoing community health initiatives.
In response to the hearing the news, Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said,
“Starkville continues to be a leader among Mississippi cities in promoting a
higher standard of community health. This award gives recognition to the
efforts of the community to raise the overall health and well-being of our
citizens. Additionally, the $25,000 prize offers us the capacity to continue
to invest in the health of Starkville.”
Since being named Mississippi’s “Healthiest Hometown” in 2011, the City of
Starkville has continued its ambitious wellness efforts in the community.
Led by the Healthy Starkville Committee, the focus on health and wellness
involves all facets of Starkville.
Its goal is to create a healthy municipal infrastructure, serving as a
blueprint for future construction and enhancements in promoting a Healthy
Starkville. Home to Mississippi State University, the school’s Department of
Health and Wellness promotes health to students, faculty, staff and the
entire community. Local businesses promote health opportunities to
employees, including Gulf States Manufacturing, which maintains a community
garden for employees. Also, local civic organizations maintain a high
profile in the community, supporting programs for everyone from children to
The City of Ridgeland was selected as Mississippi’s “Healthiest Hometown”
while the City of Brookhaven was selected in its population category (5,001
to 14,999 residents). Ridgeland will receive a $50,000 grant to continue its
wellness efforts while Brookhaven will receive $25,000. The winning
municipalities were announced today at the Mississippi Municipal League
Annual Conference in Biloxi.
“We are extremely proud of Starkville’s continued success and their
commitment to engaging citizens in creating a healthy community,” said
Sheila Grogan, Executive Director of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of
Mississippi Foundation. “Starkville is an excellent example of a community
that takes full advantage of all available resources to promote a higher
quality of life for residents.”
Judges for the 2013 Healthy Hometown program were Tara Costa, Season 7
finalist of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and national health advocate; Oklahoma
City Mayor Mike Cornett, who launched a citywide health initiative resulting
in almost 50,000 citizens losing a combined 1,000,000 pounds; and Chris
Waddell, the most decorated male skier in Paralympic history and the first
paraplegic to summit Mount Kilimanjaro unassisted.
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation established the
Healthy Hometown Awards in 2010 to encourage communities to promote healthy
lifestyles and to provide financial rewards to those who have demonstrated
the most progress. The grants are used by the communities to further ongoing
community wellness initiatives. Healthy Hometown winners are chosen based on
select criteria, including having a tobacco-free ordinance, helmet laws and
To learn more about the Healthy Hometown Awards and this year’s winners,
visit the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation website at
Congratulations! Starkville was awarded the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation Award for Healthiest Hometown in the category of cities with populations of greater than 15,000.
The overall statewide grand price winner was Ridgeland and the winner of the < 15,000 category was Brookhaven. Congratulations to those other cities as well!
More information is available at the BC/BS of MS Foundation website.
The next meeting dates for the Healthy Starkville committee are:
September 18, 2014, noon – 1 p.m.
October 16, 2014, noon -1 p.m.
November 20, 2014, noon – 1 p.m.
December 18, 2014, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.