HERNANDO, Miss. (City of Hernando Release) – In 2016, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation partnered with the City of Hernando to support local law enforcement officers in serving as health and wellness role models to encourage healthy lifestyle habits for children.
The Healthy Heroes Program gives uniformed police officers an opportunity to educate elementary students about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle by making healthy eating choices and being active. The Healthy Heroes Program is being extended for a third year for police officers to continue creating meaningful relationships with children, parents and teachers.
Funded by a $107,700 grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation will educate elementary school children about the importance of healthy eating and exercising and will support a new multi-use trail at Conger Park, the city’s largest and most utilized park.
The eight-foot-wide trail is compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and will extend .32 miles. The new ADA compliant trail will connect to other park facilities and to an existing multi-use trail on the north side of the park increasing the total length of the trail to .55 miles in length.
“We are thrilled to receive the grant,” said Mayor Tom Ferguson, “The trail will provide an opportunity for people to improve their physical health and will expand accessibility for recreation to those with disabilities.”
“The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation has been an incredible partner. The Healthy Heroes Program teaches children to lead a healthy lifestyle at a young age and is a proactive approach for building strong relationships with our elementary students and police,” said Gia Matheny, Community and Economic Development Director.
In 2017, Hernando was named a “Healthy Hometown” in the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation Healthy Hometown Awards Program. Hernando was also named “Mississippi’s Healthiest Hometown” in 2010 by the Foundation. The Healthy Hometown Awards Program recognizes and rewards municipalities for their efforts in community wellness initiatives.
“The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is proud to continue its partnership with the City of Hernando as part of the Healthy Heroes Program,” said Sheila Grogan, “Police officers and firefighters encouraging students to make healthy food choices and exercise while building positive relationships creates an ongoing and lasting benefit to the community at large.” The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is working to build a healthy Mississippi through targeted funding aimed at supporting schools, and communities. Learn more about the Healthy Heroes Program, as well as other efforts of the Foundation at