March 26, 2017  

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Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation Extends Grant for USM Gulf Park “Health is Golden” Campaign

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The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus has been given a golden opportunity to help students, faculty and staff achieve their New Year’s resolution fitness goals, thanks to a grant renewal in support of a campus-wide health initiative.

The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation recently awarded Southern Miss Gulf Park $290,953 to continue its “Health is Golden” fitness campaign, a health initiative that provides students, faculty and staff with the education and resources needed to live a healthier lifestyle. This is the second year the grant has been awarded to the Gulf Park campus.

Originally launched on the Hattiesburg campus in 2015, “Health is Golden” has encouraged students, faculty and staff to live healthier lifestyles by offering recreational activities, wellness programs and educational services. The campaign also provides Southern Miss with the opportunity to collaborate with community leaders and educators along the coast to promote fitness and health education in the community.

“Through ‘Health is Golden,’ our students, faculty and staff are learning to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles that will benefit them long beyond their time at Southern Miss,” said Dr. Steve Miller, vice president for the Gulf Park campus. “We are grateful to the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation for allowing us to continue to provide new programs and resources at our Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.”

With the provided funds, several new programs and resources have been added to enhance the services offered at the Gulf Park campus fitness facility. These enhancements include improvements to the Fitness Center; the purchase of new cardio, strength training and group fitness equipment; and the hosting of health and fitness programs, classes, challenges and events. The grant also provides 100 qualifying Southern Miss faculty and staff with a complimentary, year-long membership to the Fitness Center.

“This grant affords us the opportunity to provide quality recreational activities, health and wellness programs, and educational services in a positive, inclusive and non-threatening environment that facilitates the balance of physical, social, emotional and academic growth,” said Fitness Center Assistant Director and Grant Coordinator Kim Beard. “With the grant funds, we will target students, faculty and staff on the USM Gulf Park campus with additional efforts put forth for expansion into our surrounding University community. Our primary goal is to promote healthy lifestyles and establish a solid culture of health and wellness.”

“The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is excited to extend support for ‘Health is Golden’,” said Sheila Grogan, executive director of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. “The University of Southern Mississippi is continuing to set a positive example for universities throughout the state with its dedication and commitment to providing valuable health and wellness resources to students, staff, faculty and the surrounding community.”

For more information about the “Health is Golden” campaign at Gulf Park, visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/wellness. 

About the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation
The Health is Golden at Gulf Park initiative at The University of Southern Mississippi at Gulf Park is in partnership with the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is committed to supporting Mississippi's universities and colleges in implementing healthy eating and exercise initiatives that extend from the campus to local communities and schools. Learn more about the work of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation at www.healthiermississippi.org.