Building a Healthy Mississippi


The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation established the Healthy Hometown Awards Program to encourage and reward exemplary community health and wellness. The Foundation exists to improve the health of Mississippi, and this award will assist our municipal leaders in their efforts to make their communities - and ultimately our state - a healthier place to live.

Award Categories

The Foundation will award up to four grants. For an application to be considered, a municipality must have a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance in place.

A municipality from each of these three categories may receive a $25,000 grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation:

Large town: 15,000 or more residents
Medium town: 5,001 - 14,999 residents
Small town: 5,000 or fewer residents

One municipality will be designated as the "Healthiest Hometown in Mississippi" and will be awarded a $50,000 grant. A town of any size may receive this designation.

Eligibility of Winning Municipalities

Municipalities receiving the “Healthiest Hometown” award designation are ineligible to submit an award application for three years following their award year. Municipalities receiving a “Healthy Hometown” award may submit an application, but will only be eligible for the “Healthiest Hometown” award for a three year period. If a “Healthy Hometown” award winner does not win the “Healthiest Hometown” award within the three year period, the municipality is again eligible for a “Healthy Hometown” award.

Application and Selection

Many towns will not meet all the criteria or have all the policies in place that the application suggests. However, the winning municipalities will be those who have made the most strides in creating a healthy community and who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to a healthy culture.

A team of prestigious judges with expertise in health and wellness review and score the applications. Winners are announced at the Mississippi Municipal League Annual Conference.

Award Restrictions

The grant award is to be used only to improve a municipality's health and wellness culture. The recipient municipalities and the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation will complete a standard grant award contract.


To recognize the winning municipalities, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation will provide the following:

  1. Congratulatory ad in the local newspaper and statewide publications

  2. Wall plaque for City Hall and/or a promotional road sign at the town's entrance

  3. Promotion of the winning towns on the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation website