Chronic disease, drowning prevention and healthy living are just a few of the topics on the agenda at the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth’s first-ever Community Health Summit. The admission-free event was held Wednesday, May 24, at the Bedford Center YMCA, 2801 Forest Ridge Drive in Bedford.
Attendees included Fort Worth area leaders, health care providers and others interested in learning about the role the YMCA plays in supporting community health and well-being and possible partnership opportunities.
The YMCA, which serves residents in Tarrant, Johnson, Hood and surrounding counties, offers a broad range of programs and services, well beyond exercise facilities and youth sports. From diabetes prevention and water safety to youth leadership and senior citizen programs, the YMCA supports individual and family well-being across generations.
“Addressing community health extends beyond the walls of health care providers,” said Alfredo Salcedo, vice president of health living of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. “We have the facilities, staff and volunteers as well as the expertise to help make this a stronger, healthier community, and we are committed to providing our resources and expertise to create this impact in the lives of our neighbors. We are eager to partner with local governments, health care professionals and other organizations to support the well-being of the communities we jointly serve.”
The summit is an opportunity for the various branches of the community to come together, share ideas, learn and network in a relaxed and welcoming environment. After a welcome from Salcedo that outlined the role the Y has in fostering far-reaching community health improvement, Kevin McKinnon, director of community health, gave an overview of the YMCA’s chronic disease prevention programs. Those include fitness for older adults living with arthritis or at risk for falls; weight management for children; Livestrong® at the YMCA for individuals living with or beyond cancer treatment; pedaling for adults diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease; self-monitoring for individuals diagnosed with high blood pressure; and diabetes prevention for adults at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Leah LeMaire, director of aquatics, discussed drowning prevention measures and water safety. Ruth Murillo, director of nutrition, explained the vital role healthy eating habits play in attaining and sustaining well-being, and Holli Wynn, vice president of program impact, addresses food insecurity, its impact on community well-being and steps the YMCA is taking to combat this issue.
Following those sessions, McKinnon highlighted the importance of exploring and formalizing community partnerships. The summit closed with a question-and-answer session with attendees.