Press Releases

YMCA of Central Florida Launches New Program Membership Offering, HealthierLifeRX to Combat Chronic Disease


The program aims to fill the gap in health care delivery from clinic to community

ORLANDO, FLA. (June 6, 2017) – The YMCA of Central Florida is continuing its mission to improve the lives of all in Central Florida.  Starting today, members who are at-risk for chronic disease or who are struggling with a health condition will be able to enroll in a special, eight-week program called HealthierLifeRX. The innovative program aims to fill to the gap in health care delivery from clinic to community and was developed by the YMCA of Central Florida following a successful, two-year pilot program, generously supported by the United Health Foundation. HealthierLifeRX uses a collaborative care model which connects primary care physicians and their patients with trained lifestyle coaches from the YMCA who all work together to help the patient achieve their individual health goals.

“We are excited to serve our community now in an entirely new way through this special program which will help our current and new Y members regain control of their health,” said John Cardone, Senior Vice President of Health Strategies and Business Development at the YMCA of Central Florida. “We know no two people are alike, so our lifestyle coaches use a one-on-one approach to create a personalized plan to meet each individual’s specific needs, goals and physical abilities. As those needs, goals and abilities change, our lifestyle coaches can continue to modify their plans and problem solve for any unexpected roadblocks or issues that may arise. Our customized, flexible, collaborative and supportive approach to wellness is what sets HealthierLifeRX apart from any other program that’s currently available.”

The goal of HealthierLifeRX is to empower individuals to take charge of their health, develop new habits and live stronger, healthier lives. Individuals who enroll in the program will meet weekly with their lifestyle coaches to review their progress, ask questions, receive nutritional guidance and learn about additional tools and resources to help them stay on track. At the end of the eight-week time period, members have the option to purchase additional sessions to continue meeting with their lifestyle coach on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.

The pilot that was used to develop the program first launched back in the spring of 2015, thanks to the generous support and partnership of the United Health Foundation, and has a proven track record of success. Participants who completed the year-long pilot were able to improve their fitness, functionality, weight, quality of life and overall health and well-being. Key findings from the pilot included the following:

  • Among overweight/obese participants, the average participant lost more than 4-percent of their starting body weight just six months into the program
  • 90-percent of participants increased their physical activity level to include at least 150 minutes of exercise per week at the eight-month mark
  • 20-percent of participants were able to reduce the amount of medications they were taking
  • 38-percent of participants were able to lower their activity restrictions

The new, eight-week program encompasses the best practices and learnings from the pilot and incorporates them into a consolidated approach for optimal impact over a more focused time period. The YMCA of Central Florida will initially roll out the new model at its Downtown Orlando and Winter Park YMCA Family Centers.

The HealthierLifeRX initiative reflects the Y’s mission-driven commitment to reverse chronic disease and help people achieve their healthiest best in Spirit, Mind and Body. For more information about the program, visit www.healthierliferx.com.

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About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 415,000 Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 27 YMCA locations across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. And this mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen fragile families. This YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees engaged 23,000 donors, volunteers and advocates, who joined together for the common good. To ensure that the Y remains available and accessible to all, it also provided $5.4 million in program and membership assistance to more than 50,000 children, families and seniors.

About United Health Foundation

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed nearly $315 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthgroup.com/SocialResponsibility or follow Facebook.com/UHGGives.

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