July 22, 2014  

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Southern Miss Set to Launch “Health is Golden” Campaign

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A $250,000 grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation provides for a new campaign to create and sustain a culture of wellness on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi that will extend into the surrounding communities and schools.

On Thursday, March 6, Southern Miss officials will launch the “Health is Golden” campaign with a series of activities scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in Room 218 of the Thad Cochran Center. The kickoff will include comments from President Rodney D. Bennett, information booths, fitness stations and various registrations connected to the wellness campaign.

“Embodying a healthy lifestyle is important to our University community and to our own individual success,” said Bennett. “Healthy habits allow us to do our best work; give us energy to get through each day; reduce stress and anxiety; help prevent the onset of many medical issues; and provide a framework for a long and healthy life.”

Beyond the goal to inspire a healthier campus community, the “Health is Golden” campaign aims to provide students, faculty and staff with the education and resources to accomplish that goal. Part of the initiative includes a project to recognize “Health Champions” -- members of the Southern Miss family who serve as positive role models of health. Posters have been designed to promote these champions with the goal that they will influence others.

The grant will also allow Student Health Services to provide a number of opportunities:

  • Give 100 qualifying faculty and staff free membership to the Payne Center, personal training and consultations with a dietician.
  • Work closely with the Student Success Center to offer 100 qualified incoming students free personal training and consultations with a dietician this fall.
  • Work closely with dining services to make sure there are easy-to-choose options for making healthy food choices and with recreational sports to promote opportunties to be active on campus.
  • Offer several educational activities through social media, videos and on-campus presentations.
  • Partner with leaders in the Hattiesburg area to help promote health and provide education on the community.

“With this grant we want to emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, educate on how to do this, and provide resources to allow making the choices easier,” said Jodi Ryder, health education and promotion director at Southern Miss. “My hope is that more individuals start seeing their health as golden and make the changes necessary to live a healthy lifestyle.”

For more information about the “Health is Golden” campaign, contact Student Health Services at 601.266.5390 or visit: www.usm.edu/wellness