This August, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation hosted the University and College Tobacco-Free Campus Collaborative. Top levels of leadership from all eight of Mississippi’s publicly-funded universities and thirteen community colleges engaged with healthcare and education experts about improving the health and well-being of students and personnel through the strengthening of campus tobacco-free policies.
“The goals of the Collaborative were two-fold,” said Dr. Thomas C. Fenter, Foundation Board Chairman. “Provide education about the harmful impact of tobacco and e-cigarettes and challenge leaders of Mississippi’s universities and colleges to enhance existing tobacco-free policies.”
Nearly $17 million in Foundation grant funds have been invested in Mississippi universities and colleges to implement health and wellness initiatives, and a majority of those institutions adopted smoke-free and tobacco-free policies. With the recent rise in electronic nicotine delivery system usage there is an opportunity to adopt new policies and strengthen existing policies.
“The Foundation’s overarching vision includes support of Mississippi’s universities and colleges as community stakeholders in their efforts to create sustainable healthy campus cultures,” said Sheila Grogan, President of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. “The Foundation stands ready to partner with our state’s institutions of higher learning as they explore opportunities to implement and strengthen campus tobacco-free policies.”
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation has a vision for a healthy Mississippi and provides targeted grants to fund initiatives and programs to improve the health of Mississippians. To learn more about the Foundation, visit www.healthiermississippi.org.