December 04, 2012 7:07 pm • SUSAN EMERY Times CorrespondentVALPARAISO | The Valparaiso Family YMCA has chosen Methodist Hospitals as its new healthcare engagement partner in a collaboration designed to foster well-being and healthy living.
More than 100 people attended a news conference Tuesday at the YMCA to learn details of the three-year partnership, which will bring wellness and comprehensive programs to the Y.
The program will be implemented in phases. Highlights include an on-site physician specializing in primary care, health screenings, risk assessments, educational classes, a cardiac rehabilitation program, physical therapy and alternative medicine offerings.
YMCA CEO Bob Wanek said the program will be open to both YMCA members and community residents, with further details to follow.
Wanek said the Y reviewed proposals from numerous healthcare providers in the region and ultimately chose Methodist because it “was the best fit with the most comprehensive offering to provide a depth of services to the community.”
Ian McFadden, president and CEO of Methodist Hospitals, said about 12 Methodist staff members will provide services promoting proper diet, exercise, stress management and illness prevention.
There will be a relationship manager for wellness programs, clinical staff, a nutritionist, physical therapists and a physician, Dr. Hiren Italia, McFadden said.
A couple of staff members will be at the YMCA all the time, he said.
McFadden said the partnership between Methodist Hospitals and the YMCA works well because they are both non-profit organizations, and their missions are aligned.
“We felt that the cultures, missions and priorities of our two organizations were a great fit,” McFadden said. “Our whole focus is to support the Y in delivering its mission to the community.”
Wanek said the YMCA building initially will house some of the programs, with plans eventually calling for an addition to the building for physician offices.
The YMCA building was specially designed for people with special needs, including a warm-water pool, elevator and exercise machines recommended by physical therapists, Wanek said.
The YMCA works with about 50 corporate groups in the community, and a goal is to take the program offsite to offer health screenings, educational programs and preventative care, Wanek said.
McFadden said Methodist Hospitals has worked with the YWCA in Gary and is looking forward to the partnership with the Valpo YMCA.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Methodist Hospitals to expand its outreach,” McFadden said. “The Valpo YMCA truly is a top community resource, and we want to support it.”