BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation Launches Healthy Place Program in Memphis

$5.4 million investment will create revitalized space for community activity

 The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has announced that the first project under its new strategic focus, the BlueCross Healthy Place℠ program, will be an expansive, revitalized public space at David Carnes Park in Memphis.

In total, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation is investing as much as $5.4 million in the Whitehaven neighborhood park. Up to $4.5 million will go toward construction of the park and its facilities, along with a $900,000 endowment earmarked for its maintenance and care.

The BlueCross Healthy Place program provides neighborhoods with communal spaces for healthy activities, improving the overall wellbeing of Tennesseans.

“Concentrating our giving on BlueCross Healthy Places will allow us to have a bigger impact within our communities, reaching both urban and rural areas across the state,” said Scott Neal Wilson, BlueCross director of community relations and health foundation. “We’re excited about the potential of these projects, and we are honored to partner with the city of Memphis to launch this new focus.”

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee gathered feedback for the Memphis project during a community meeting held at Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries on Monday, April 16. Mayor Jim Strickland and Councilwoman Patrice Robinson were in attendance, along with Kevin Woods, BlueCross Memphis market president.

“The BlueCross Healthy Place program shares one of our top priorities: healthy, inviting public spaces for our citizens. That’s why we’re so grateful for this partnership with the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, and we’re looking forward to enhancing this park for neighbors here in Whitehaven,” said Strickland.

BlueCross Healthy Place projects are collaborations with the communities they serve. During the planning phase, representatives meet with community members to hear their ideas and ensure the space is tailored to the needs of area residents. Finalized BlueCross Healthy Places may include a number of elements, such as athletic fields, walking tracks, playgrounds and fitness areas.

The Memphis site was selected in partnership with the city and in response to community residents who previously expressed interest in having more resources for the park.

“Input from residents is crucial to the project’s success. The space will be an asset to their community – an area where they can be active and form new connections. It will truly be a hub of renewed civic activity and a jewel in the Memphis park system,” added Woods.

The project will be completed with PlayCore, a national play and recreation company. Efforts will be made to work with local and diverse suppliers.

Additional competitive funding opportunities for future BlueCross Healthy Place projects across the state will be announced in the fall. For the latest updates on the Memphis project, please visit www.bettertennessee.com.

For additional resources related to the BlueCross Healthy Place program, please visit https://bcbstnews.com/mediaresources/bluecross-healthy-place-program.