Eugene, Oregon – In a unique partnership aimed at improving health outcomes in Lane County, the Eugene Family YMCA and PeaceHealth signed a 10-year contract to develop a series of combined educational, wellness and health programs for youth, adults and families in the new Y facility at 24th Avenue and Hilyard Street.
“Over the past 135 years, the YMCA has expanded and innovated to meet the changing needs of Lane County. These years of service have reinforced a fundamental truth: organizations make the most impact when they work together,” said Brian Steffen, CEO of Eugene Family YMCA. “The vision for the future of the YMCA’s work goes far beyond a new facility, it includes new partnerships and collaborations. The Eugene Family YMCA is honored to partner with a leading local medical service provider to create preventive health programs that directly address the social determinants of health – the environmental conditions in which people are born, live, learn, work, play and aging that impacts a wide range of health outcomes and risks, functioning and quality of life.”
The $1.25 million PeaceHealth partnership includes the naming of the new Y’s Health & Wellness Center, which will be named the “PeaceHealth Wellness Center.”
“PeaceHealth recognizes the Y as a critical partner to connect health, medical and wellness services for our community members,” said Todd Salnas, Chief Executive for PeaceHealth Oregon. “A partnership like this is invaluable because it can reach, guide, inform and transform lives.”
The decade-long medical partnership heralds a new era in community preventive healthcare. It officially kicks off when the new Y opens in December 2023.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see the incredible impact partnerships between community and healthcare organizations can have in improving health outcomes,” said Susan Blane, Director of Community Health for PeaceHealth Oregon. “A key strategic goal for PeaceHealth is to further expand wellness services to our communities. The Y is a perfect partner for this. Early preventive care is needed to combat diseases and conditions that can have devastating consequences. PeaceHealth looks forward to supporting the Y in creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime.”
The new Y creates an unprecedented opportunity to build healthy living initiatives with approximately 75,000 square feet of programmable space, including swimming pools, youth areas, group fitness rooms, an indoor track, gymnasium, teaching kitchen, the 11,000 square foot PeaceHealth Wellness Center and various conference and training rooms.
“The new Y is a game-changer for us because the possibilities are limitless,” said Y Health & Wellness Director Kim Miller. “For example, an indoor track can be used for a variety of programs, such as a walking group for new parents, a bodyweight plyometrics room, or a fall prevention program. Collaborating with PeaceHealth experts ensures that each offering is as robust as possible and produces better results.”
Improving health outcomes is a priority for government officials, medical providers, community organizations, and non-profit organizations that support people, such as the YMCA. In Lane County, these groups have started a community initiative called Live Healthy Lane that guides the process and relies on the periodic assessment of health issues reported in the Community Health Assessment and a plan to meet those needs, the Community Health Improvement Plan .
“As a physician, it is incredibly important that we find ways to help our patients beyond the walls of a hospital or clinic,” said PeaceHealth Pediatric Medical Director Dr. Serena Black. “This partnership with the YMCA extends our reach well beyond an office visit and can have a measurable impact, both short and long term, on the health of individuals of all ages in our community.”
The Y and PeaceHealth will assign measurable goals to joint community well-being programs, preventive medicine and medical screenings that can be easily performed and assessed in a non-clinical setting. Target development will focus on common, chronic, preventable disease processes and eliminating health risks. These programs will be administered by a committee composed of leaders from Y and PeaceHealth.
“We know that collaborations between YMCAs and medical providers can improve health outcomes, reduce medical costs, and improve quality of life,” said YMCA of U.S. President and CEO Suzanne McCormick. “With fitness experts, wellness coaches, and especially people who have had similar experiences, a YMCA is an ideal place for patients to recover from injury, recover from illness, or prevent illness. This collaboration is a smart, community-based approach to healthcare.”
The PeaceHealth partnership complements other new relationships formed to support work on the New Y, including Lane County Medical Society, OCCU Foundation, PacificSource Health Plans and Trillium Community Health Plan. Including the PeaceHealth gift, the total funding raised or committed for the new $48 million Y project is $45.3 million.
About the Y:
The Eugene Family YMCA is one of the region’s leading non-profit organizations that strengthens communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Each year, the Lane County Y engages more than 18,000 people, regardless of age, gender, income, or background, to nurture the potential of children, teens, and seniors; improve health and well-being; and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2021, the Eugene Family YMCA awarded $451,599 in financial aid. The YMCA has served the Eugene area since 1887.
PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Washington, is a non-profit Catholic health system serving communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 health care providers, a group practice of more than 1,100 health care providers, and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities in the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has now become PeaceHealth. The sisters shared expertise and imparted wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to address the unmet health care needs of their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, cooperation and social justice in fulfilling its mission.