TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- A man committed to helping residents in north Mississippi live a healthier life has died.
Tupelo city officials tell WTVA.com Hank Boerner passed away Thursday morning at the North Mississippi Medical Center.
Boerner was the director of the NMMC Wellness Center and was the co-chariman of the Mayor's Health Task Force in Tupelo.
NMMC officials say Boerner joined the Wellness Center in 1992 following a career in sports medicine and fitness in Alabama and Florida.
Under his leadership, the hospital expanded its wellness services to all its community hospitals.
He was also presented the 2011 Pioneer Award by the Medical Fitness Association for his work to advance the industry.
City officials say Boerner was also a leader of Tupelo's All-America City team.
Tupelo city leaders say they will fly flags at half-staff through the weekend in his honor.
He was also the founder of in Project Hope and hosted the Wellness Wednesday segment on WTVA News Today.
Visitation will be held Friday night from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in McFadden Hall at the First Presbyterian Church in Tupelo.
Visitation will also be held Saturday from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m., followed by a memorial service at the church.
Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed issued the following statement:
“Hank Boerner was one of the finest men I have ever known. He was the epitomy of The Tupelo Spirit. As Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Healthy City Task Force he has been leading our City’s successful transformation into a place where our children and our adults can lead healthier, more productive lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Helen and his children. He will be greatly, greatly missed.”
NMHS President and CEO John Heer
"We were shocked and devastated to learn of Hank's passing this morning. Hank was a great leader and a good friend. He will be sorely missed. Our prayers and condolences go out to his family in this time of need."
NMMC President Steve Altmiller
"Hank was Mr. Fitness to me. Every aspect of his being was to promote health, fun and innovation in fitness. His presence will be greatly missed, but his spirit of fitness will always continue to be present."
NMMC Administrator of Cardiovasular Services George Hand
"Hank was the driving force for leading NMMC, Tupelo and our area to live a healthy life. His absence will leave a lasting void."
NMMC Director of Community Health Liz Dawson
"We have lost a dear friend and colleague. Hank was a man of impeccable integrity who loved his Lord, his family and this community. He has always been such a servant leader and he will be sorely missed. I'm sure he is in heaven leading an exercise class right now! We love you Hank!"