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RWJF Culture of Health Prize

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize honors and elevates U.S. communities that are making great strides in their journey toward better health.

Hernando, MS

Type: 

Fostering a Culture of Wellness: Hernando, Miss.

Description

The 2011 County Health Rankings classified Desoto County as the healthiest county in Mississippi for health outcomes and the fifth-healthiest county for health factors, with lower unemployment rates, higher education rates and greater access to healthy food compared to the rest of the state. Yet much more work needs to be done to improve the health of Desoto County, as one-third of its adults are obese and Mississippi, overall, has the highest obesity rates in the nation.

Led by Mayor Chip Johnson, the city of Hernando, county seat of Desoto County, is now home to the largest farmers’ market in Mississippi and was designated as the Healthiest Hometown in the state in 2010 by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. Those are significant accomplishments, but Mayor Johnson continues to look for new opportunities to create a healthier community.