Representatives from Baptist Health Systems and the Jackson Heart Foundation visited Bates Elementary school in May 2012 to introduce HeathTeacher, a provider of health literacy resources that facilitates comprehensive health education for teachers. Participating in the presentation to the school with Bates students were (back, from left) Jackson Heart Foundation Board Member and Baptist Medical Center Board Member Doug Hederman, Jackson Heart Cardiologist Harpter Stone, M.D., Jackson Heart Foundation Board Member Gwen McKee, Baptist Health Foundation President Danny Rutland, Baptist Director of Annual Giving Laura Jones, Baptist Health Systems President and CEO Mark Slyter, Jackson Heart Foundation Executive Director Lizzy Lynch, Gladys Noel Bates Elementary School Principal Mitchell M. Shears, Ed.S., Jackson Heart Cardiologist Clay Hays, M.D., Baptist Director of Planned Giving and Major Gifts Beau Bowman, and Health Education Coordinator Mary Ann Simpkins.
HealthTeacher provides health education materials, resources, and professional development for K-12 schools, preschools, after school programs, and community organizations. The resources provided through the program ensure that the schools they support comply with the 2007 Heatlhy Students Act, which requires 45 minutes of health education and 150 hours of physical education/activity each week. Over 300 standards-based lesson plans, daily news articles, and interactive tools are available to participating schools on the HealthTeacher website. Currently, the program supports 34 school districts in central Mississippi, including Jackson Public Schools.