< Press Releases March 15, 2019

Together We Impact the Community

Saginaw, March – As part of the Y’s commitment to provide services “for all” in the community they once again are expanding their program offerings to impact the health of many through Evidence Based Health Initiative Programs: Blood Pressure Self Monitoring, LiveSTRONG at the YMCA, and Healthy Weight and Your Child.

According to the American Heart Association, nearly 80 million adults have high blood pressure in this country. Less than half have it under control. “I feel that this program has helped so many to realize how important having a normal blood pressure is. As a result of my participation in the program, I am making better eating choices and I have lowered my blood pressure drastically. I have been told I may be able to come off my medication as soon as within six weeks if this type of progress continues.” –Participant from the Birmingham Metropolitan YMCA.

The LIVESTRONG foundation has been the YMCA’s partner since 2007 in developing and delivering LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. “You go to work for your paycheck. You go to LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for your life!” – Participant from the Hockomack Area YMCA.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity in youth has remained stable at about 17 percent and affects about 12.7 million children and adolescents. Today, obesity affects one in six children and one in three are overweight, which poses greater risks for many health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and some cancers. In Michigan 32 percent of all children are considered overweight or obese.

“For years parents have heard the dangers of childhood obesity but making the necessary lifestyle changes—as a family—remains the biggest barrier to real progress,” said Tina Swanton, Lead Program Director, YMCA of Saginaw. “It is time to overcome that barrier.” The Healthy Weight and Your Child program is currently in about 100 YMCA’s across the country. There have been 1,666 children enrolled and 81% of those children have reduced their BMI.

The YMCA is excited to say that although we are offering these wonderful programs we are not and cannot do this alone. We have wonderful community partners, such as CMU School of Medicine and MiHIA, working with us to better the health and lives of those in our community.

CMU Health provides primary and specialty health care services throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region. Its more than 60 faculty-physicians are involved in the education of CMU medical students and residents, and care for patients. “We at CMU Health recognize the impact well-structured exercise can have on the health of our patients and the greater community,” says Evan Paulus, Operations Director for CMU Health. “It is in this light that we encourage participation in local health and wellness programs. Our many health care providers in the Great Lakes Bay Region are delighted to partner with the Saginaw YMCA and are excited to offer this benefit to patients of all ages.”

The Michigan Health Improvement Alliance (MiHIA) has been focused on improving population health as one of their four aims since 2007. In 2015 MiHIA set the foundation for a regional implementation of the Diabetes Prevention Program, creating the infrastructure for now more than 35+ Lifestyle Coaches to provide the program throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region. Building on this momentum, in 2016 MiHIA led the Million Hearts initiative focusing on improving hypertension and controlling high blood pressure with Great Lakes Bay Health Center and St. Mary’s of Michigan – Saginaw. Recently MiHIA expanded their focus to incorporate obesity reduction for Youth through a 16-week virtual program called KURBO. “MiHIA is always looking for ways to collaborate with clinical and non-clincial partners to improve the health and well-being of our region. We are excited to join forces with the YMCA of Saginaw to produce great impact for our communities.” B. Roszatycki, CEO, MiHIA

We would like to invite you to a press conference on March 15th at 10:00am at the YMCA of Saginaw to meet all of the partners, learn more about the new programming coming to our community. One of the speakers will be Michael Webster, Saginaw County Commissioner Chair of District 11.

About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.


Weston Boven, Wellness Director
989-753-7721 ext 207