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Tupelo's Distinction As 'Healthiest City' In State To Be Used To Recruit Businesses

Posted by Allie Martin | July 02, 2012 / 04:52pm | Business, Health
TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) - Being named Healthiest City in the State by the BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi Foundation is cause for celebration.

"It is a tremendously big deal," said Hank Boerner of the NMMC Wellness Center and a member of the Mayor's Healthy Task Force.

The designation as the state's healthiest city is also a big deal for those who work to bring new businesses to the area.

"It helps us indirectly with recruitment of industry," said Jennie Bradford Curlee, who is with the Community Development Foundation, the economic development arm of Tupelo and Lee County.

Curlee says business owners are looking not only for skilled workers, but also for healthy employees.

"Knowing that Tupelo is the healthiest city in the state, helps us say we have a quality workforce, healthy workers who will come to work , and that helps us knowing we have a great workforce," she said.

For several years now, the Mayor's Healthy Task Force has implemented programs and initiatives such as Health on a Shelf, giving convenience store customers healthy food selections,

The Mayor's Marathon has encouraged students and their families to exercise more and Trim Down, Tone Up Tupelo has helped locals shed the pounds.

Experts say business owners are more inclined to locate in a community concerned with improving the quality of life for its residents.

"If a CEO is moving to this area, bringing his family, he knows that he is coming to a place that is healthy , who will be able to put his kids in the schools, have a healthy experience all through that," Curlee said.

Along with its distinction as healthiest city in the state, Tupelo receives $50,000 . That money will be used to continue, expand and implement programs promoting a healthy lifestyle. Civic leaders say that forward thinking and work by the Mayor's Healthy Task Force is a unique selling point for the area.
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