YMCA, PRMC announce wellness partnership

The YMCA of the Chesapeake and Peninsula Regional Medical Center on Monday announced a strategic partnership to explore options to manage and prevent chronic diseases and to engage the Delmarva community to participate in activities and lifestyle changes to sustain lifelong wellness.

The partnership joins the YMCA, the largest human services organization in the region with more than 27,000 active members at seven locations across the Maryland’s Eastern Shore and in Chincoteague, VA, with PRMC, the largest and most clinically advanced tertiary medical center on the Delmarva Peninsula.

At the news conference at the Richard A. Henson Family YMCA in Salisbury, representatives from the organizations discussed the benefit of combining the resources and knowledge of two of the Delmarva Peninsula’s leading promoters of health and wellness.

“The YMCA has a number of successful programs underway now that assist people in managing chronic conditions,” said Robbie Gill, Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of the Chesapeake.  “One of the great benefits we expect from this partnership is having PRMC clinicians and educators actively involved in our programs to create those very special one-to-one relationships that bond people emotionally, establish trust and understanding and lead to healthier and happier lives.”

Some of the quick wins that the YMCA and PRMC plan to capture immediately from the partnership include: the establishment of monthly educational series on a number of health-related topics, participation by PRMC clinical teams in YMCA programs and services, health literacy programs for families, increased blood pressure and hypertension monitoring, enhanced diabetes education and a focused collaboration around the Y’s successful Healthy Us initiative to combat childhood obesity.

“Childhood obesity only leads to adult obesity and with it a slew of chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure that strain families and drain healthcare services,” said Karen Poisker, PRMC’s Vice President for Population Health. “We are excited to partner with the YMCA to help entire families to think differently about taking care of themselves and their children now, when it matters most and when we can manage peer pressures and provide the peer support that will create some really sustainable lifestyle changes.”

Leaders also announced that PRMC plans to offer sunscreen and cellphone charging stations at select YMCA locations, create health tips that will be displayed in exercise rooms and introduce regular visits by the PRMC Wagner Wellness Van.  A board featuring leadership from both the YMCA and PRMC will be established in the near future to oversee the partnership and provide strategic guidance.

“We are in the best possible position, together, to influence change and to transform our communities,” added Gill.  “I expect great things from this collaboration soon and often.”

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