Building a Healthy Mississippi

Healthy Heroes Program

"When children have positive role models who regularly exercise and choose healthy foods, it encourages them to follow suit. Our goal is to enhance the health of Ridgeland's children, while also fostering a healthier police force." Ridgeland Chief of Police John Neal

This school year, for students in grades K-5, uniformed police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters from across Mississippi are visiting schools as “Healthy Heroes” to lead physical fitness activities, teach healthy nutrition lessons, and hold community walks for students, faculty, staff, parents and members of the community.

Funded through a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, the City of Laurel implemented the Healthy Heroes Program in 2013 to improve the health and quality of life among members of the police force, as well as educate students in grades K-5 about the importance of healthy eating and exercise. As of 2018, the Healthy Heroes Program in Laurel remains sustainable, and the Foundation expanded the Program to an additional twelve municipalities and one county.

“We are proud of the continued support from municipal leaders, law enforcement and firefighters who are increasing health literacy in our youngest generations,” said Sheila Grogan, Executive Director of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. “Their efforts are part of our collective vision of a healthy Mississippi, and we appreciate their leadership and dedication to their citizens.”