Rye YMCA Executive Director Gregg Howells announced today that the Y will receive a $60,000 two-year grant from the Westchester Community Foundation to expand its work in Port Chester and Mamaroneck around chronic disease prevention.
In June 2012, the Rye Y was one of ten YMCAs nation-wide to receive a Community Transformation Grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control. This seed funding allowed the Y to strengthen existing partnerships and form new alliances in Port Chester and Mamaroneck around healthy eating and physical activity in childcare settings, chronic disease prevention and reducing health disparities. Outreach began in Port Chester and is focused on low income African American and Hispanic families and individuals.
Over the past year, the Y has worked closely with Open Door Family Medical Center in Port Chester to bring the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to Open Door patients. The YMCA’s DPP is an evidence-based, one-year group lifestyle intervention program for adults who are overweight and at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, or have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Based on extensive research by the National Institute of Health, the YMCA’s DPP has reached more than 6,000 participants across the United States since 2010.
“We’re grateful to the Westchester Community Foundation for recognizing the need for health education, outreach and initiatives that support healthy living in low-income, minority communities. With the help of our community partners, we are confident that we can make an impact on chronic disease in the Sound Shore area, one person at a time.”
The grant from the Westchester Community Foundation will allow the Y to continue and expand its chronic disease prevention work in both Port Chester and Mamaroneck. Key components will include:
· Working with community-based organizations to identify opportunities to offer the YMCA’s DPP to their constituencies.
· Train additional YMCA DPP Lifestyle Coaches (instructors) who are from, and representative of, the community. Some of the new coaches will be bilingual in Spanish and English; all will be able to deliver the program in a culturally relevant manner.
· Provide program scholarships for low-income African American and Hispanic participants.
· Offer child care for program participants. The children will be engaged in fun nutrition education and physical activity while their parent(s) participates in YMCA DPP classes.
The Rye Y will also work with Open Door, the Hispanic Resource Center and other community-based organizations to train and deploy Hispanic and African American residents of Mamaroneck and Port Chester as Community Health Workers.
Community Health Workers have been used in health centers for several decades. Known by various names (community health advisors, outreach workers, promotoras), they are trusted community members, providing informal, health-related services and establishing vital links between health care providers and the community. They perform many functions, including outreach, health education and logistical support.
The Rye YMCA is a family-oriented community service organization which welcomes all people and promotes positive values through programs that build spirit, mind and body. More than the familiar “swim and a gym,” the Y is deeply and actively committed to community health and wellness.
The Westchester Community Foundation (WCF) is a nonprofit community endowment for the benefit of Westchester Country. Its mission is to develop and manage philanthropic resources, and to distribute them in a way that is responsive to donor interests and community needs. The Foundation actively promotes charitable giving on behalf of the area’s nonprofit organizations. WCF is a division of The New York Community Trust, one of the largest community foundations in the country with assets of approximately $1.8 billion.