June 09, 2014

In response to changing health care trends, the Y of Central Florida is expanding its hospital partnerships and facilities to deliver community-based health and wellness services in innovative new ways.

In recent months, Florida Hospital, Orlando Health, Munroe Regional Medical Center and the West Orange Healthcare District have forged new or deeper partnerships with the Y – all rooted in a common commitment to prevention and combating chronic disease.

“With chronic disease affecting half of all Americans ─ and sending medical costs through the roof ─ health care organizations are seeking new solutions for stemming the tide,” said John Cardone, YMCA Senior Vice President of Health Strategies & Business Development. “As a longtime leader in Healthy Living and prevention, the Y is a perfect partner for providing the personalized, one-on-one support people need to embrace healthier lifestyles.”

To accommodate growing demand for health screenings, diabetes prevention, fitness classes, nutritional counseling, clinical rehabilitation and other services, capital projects are underway at four of the Y’s 27 family centers ─ with more to follow.

Frank Deluca YIn February, construction began on a $7 million expansion to the Frank DeLuca YMCA in Marion County, where rates of chronic disease are among the highest in Florida.

To reverse that, Munroe Regional Medical Center ─ along with Ocala business leader Frank DeLuca ─ have teamed up with the Y to provide onsite, clinically based health and wellness programs. Once complete, the new facility will have the capacity to serve 40,000 people per year ─ and make a real and lasting impact in the community.

Another major expansion is about to begin at the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA, which will transform it into one of the most innovative, prevention-based Ys in the nation.Cafe Looking Towards lobby

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Phillips Charities, the nDr. Phillips Charities Logo 2cew facility will offer a state-of-the-art wellness floor; expanded health and wellness offerings; clinical services; and a greater focus on diet and nutrition, in part, through a new healthy eating café and teaching kitchen.

Capital projects are also underway at the YMCA Aquatic Center; Blanchard Park; and Peggy and Philip B. Crosby family centers thanks to a new partnership with Florida Hospital’s Healthy 100 Kids Weight & Wellness Program.

By making medical, nutrition and lifestyle resources accessible through the Y, Florida Hospital expects to link an additional 1,500 families with the support they need to make healthier choices. That’s in addition to the 10,000 lives already touched each year through the Y’s longstanding partnership with Florida Hospital.

D61_3360In May, Orlando Health announced an expansion of its 13-year partnership with the Y, making it the exclusive provider of health and wellness programs at the Dr. P. Phillips, Roper,  J. Douglas Williams, Wayne Densch and South Orlando YMCA Family Centers. 

Depending on community needs, programs may include educational workshops, sports medicine, or direct medical and rehabilitative services, similar to those Orlando Health has been providing at the Dr. Phillips Y for many years.

In February, the Roper YMCA Family in Winter Garden received a first-of-its kind grant from the West Orange Healthcare District to expand its health and wellness offerings for West Orange residents. Arranged, in part, though longtime Y advocate and philanthropist Barbara Roper, the grant is funding capital improvements and programs offered in collaboration with Health Central Hospital.

“Joining forces with such incredible health care partners is a win-win for all,” Cardone said. “By leveraging our combined resources, expertise and passion, we can truly move the needle on diabetes, obesity, heart disease and so many other preventable conditions. And that creates healthier families and communities today and for generations to come.”