By Michaela Gibson Morris
TUPELO – The late Hank Boerner is still inspiring others to improve the health of their communities.
The Medical Fitness Association renamed its Pioneer Award to honor the North Mississippi Medical Center Wellness Center director, who died Dec. 6, 2012, after a sudden illness.
“It shows he’ll never be forgotten in the medical fitness world,” said Philip Raper, who succeeded Boerner as wellness center director.
Helen Boerner and Raper traveled to San Diego in November to accept the honor at the association’s annual conference.
In line with her late husband’s teaching style, Helen Boerner started her talk by getting the group of fitness professionals moving.
“I made the whole group get up and do 10 jumping jacks,” Boerner said.
Hank Boerner had received the Pioneer award in 2011. Under his leadership, NMMC Wellness Center became the first accredited medical fitness center in the state of Mississippi.
“Hank was a true pioneer in medical fitness,” said Raper, who was inspired by Boerner to earn his fellowship with the association. “It’s not just about working out. It’s about being healthy.”