2016 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Reynolds

House Resolution 5

(As Adopted by House)



     WHEREAS, the James C. Kennedy Wellness Center officially opens its doors on January 15, 2016, providing the residents of Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, with vital information and excellent resources so that they may obtain optimal health and wellness; and

     WHEREAS, in 2012, Tallahatchie County was ranked 81st out of 82 counties in Mississippi in terms of health status with the highest rates of obesity, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, diabetes and heart disease in the state, so several concerned community leaders, including those from the University of Mississippi, Tallahatchie General Hospital Administrator Jim Blackwood, local Charleston residents and philanthropist Jim Kennedy, banded together to form a way to promote a better, healthier lifestyle for the citizens of Tallahatchie County; and

     WHEREAS, after a health needs assessment was conducted by then doctoral student Dr. Catherine Woodyard, a determination was made that the development of a health and wellness center to be located on the local hospital campus would greatly improve the health of the citizens, as the envisioned facility would be state-of-the-art, providing free educational programming to help the citizens adopt healthier eating habits and more active lifestyles; and

     WHEREAS, when the James C. Kennedy Foundation, named after Jim Kennedy, a selfless individual dedicated to encouraging the individuals and families in Tallahatchie County to pursue health and wellness, received the grant proposal and construction needs for the facility, it jumped at the opportunity, making a generous commitment to fund construction of the project as well as an outdoor pedestrian and bike trail to be utilized by the public; and

     WHEREAS, James C. "Jim" Kennedy, chairman of privately-held Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company, is no stranger to benevolent contributions and philanthropic causes, as he supports several organizations that are dedicated to conservation, the environment, education and most importantly, healthcare; and

     WHEREAS, the elite, 20,000 square foot health and wellness facility provides the citizens of Tallahatchie County with every possible resource they might need in order to become fitter, healthier and happier, including a large multi-purpose space for those social butterflies who prefer group exercise classes to sweat it out with friends and family and a spacious exercise and fitness room with cardio equipment, free weights and weight machines for those exercise gurus who love specific regimes and targeting specific areas; and

     WHEREAS, additionally, the James C. Kennedy Wellness Center houses outpatient physical occupational therapy as well as a behavioral health program for seniors to help the residents return to their normal routines and fully functional selves and then ensure they stay that way; and

     WHEREAS, the center also provides a wealth of information on preventative care and educational tools to ensure Tallahatchians always know the healthiest decisions to make, from the kitchen that will be used to demonstrate healthy cooking habits to the "Path to Wellness" trail that was developed in partnership with the PATH Foundation and features educational signage on preventive health care and energy conservation so walkers and bikers can learn while they exercise, as well as a pond and wellness garden which will also provide a source of local produce; and

     WHEREAS, no health and wellness center named after Jim Kennedy, who is a passionate advocate for reducing waste and energy consumption, would be complete without implementing sustainable energy resources that reduce waste and promote environmental conservation, so the magnificent facility incorporates sustainable building elements such as solar panels,

high-efficiency HVAC and lighting and an energy-efficient building envelope; and

     WHEREAS, on January 15, 2016, Dr. Catherine Woodyard, the Executive Director, and the new members of the James C. Kennedy Wellness Center embark on a journey of strength, new beginnings, health and happiness that will ultimately reduce the number of preventable disease diagnoses in Tallahatchie County as well as restore happiness, wellness and empowerment to the citizens, who deserve the information and resources to enable them to become the best versions of themselves; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize and commend the efforts of community improvement projects in Mississippi that reduce health disparities by promoting health benefits through wellness activities, such as the James C. Kennedy Wellness Center, which is comprised of a group of dedicated individuals who will lead the citizens of Tallahatchie County down the road to optimal wellness, ultimately improving the lives of individuals and families as well as inspiring the communities and counties throughout the State of Mississippi: 

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby recognize and congratulate all stakeholders in bringing to fruition the grand opening of the James C. Kennedy Wellness Center and the projected improvements that will result from its development and express deepest wishes for its success in the future.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the James C. Kennedy Wellness Center and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.