Delta State University has received a $10,000 grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation to implement an expanded tobacco-free policy on campus.
“The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is working to build a healthy Mississippi. A healthy Mississippi is a place where health and wellness is the foundation for our schools, communities, colleges and universities and our entire culture,” according to its website.
Delta State continues to play its part to build on this crucial momentum, said Dr. Vernell Bennett, vice president for student affairs and project director of the tobacco-free initiative at Delta State.
“Students, faculty, and staff will benefit from this grant in multiple ways, including educational and cessation programming and various services,” said Dr. Bennett. “Student Affairs is grateful to collaborate with the Foundation for this healthy initiative.”
DSU was invited to apply for the grant in mid-October. Funds will be used to support new and or established health and wellness programs and other related needs on campus. These efforts are reasons why the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, through what it calls “targeted funding and grant making throughout the state, focusing on health and wellness initiatives to support our schools, communities, colleges and universities,” selected Delta State for the underwriting.
DSU’s tobacco-free policy dates to September 2010. The Mississippi State Department of Health congratulated DSU at the time for becoming Mississippi’s first four-year, state-funded university to implement a campus-wide tobacco-free policy.
“This tobacco-free grant is one of the many ways that the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is continuing to fulfill its mission. It was announced via Fox13 News in Memphis last month that two new vaping illnesses were reported in Mississippi. At that time, nine people had become sick and one, sadly, passed away. This indicates that there is an even greater need for tobacco-free initiatives at Delta State,” said Dr. Nerma Moore, director of development and corporate giving manager at the DSU Foundation. “We are thankful for our partnership and proud, too, in conjunction with the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, to build a healthier environment for Mississippians.”