The best thing we can do for our community is to connect social platforms that yield greater results together than apart. We can’t effectively impact the community’s health and overall wellness without this kind of partnership,” Margaret Sabin, president and CEO of Penrose-St. Francis, said.
Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and the local YMCA have joined forces to provide all-encompassing health and fitness services at several locations across the community.
Penrose-St. Francis provides medical care as well as health risk assessments, screenings, wellness programs and other initiatives that complement the fitness services and programs offered by the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region.
Collaborations like this one, between seemingly unrelated entities, are an efficient and socially responsible way of fostering real change in a community.
“This partnership will bring healthcare and wellness professionals together,” Boyd Williams, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, said. “Together, we are looking to bring services to the community versus the community going to services.”
The first of a half-dozen Penrose-St. Francis and YMCA joint health and fitness operations was unveiled in January 2015 at the YMCA’s state-of-the-art Tri-Lakes branch, about 20 miles from downtown Colorado Springs. There, Penrose-St. Francis and its affiliates at the Tri-Lakes Health Pavilion offer physical therapy, occupational medicine, rehabilitation services and other medical services, as well as a menu of wellness programs. The emphasis throughout is on wellness, prevention and helping people reach optimal health.
“We serve a vibrant and active community that’s constantly on the go and we understand the importance of having a one-stop shop for health and wellness,” Sabin said. That partnership “addresses the needs of time-pressed individuals and families by ensuring all the components of a healthy lifestyle are available in one place.”
Details are also being finalized for Penrose-St. Francis to provide services at the YMCA’s summer camp and at the YMCA’s 15 before-and-after-school childcare locations. The two organizations are also working to develop “joint programming to address obesity and depression as well as providing joint programming for those in the armed forces where there may be current gaps,” Williams said.
The partnership between Penrose-St. Francis and the YMCA is drawing attention across the country because the reach of the collaboration, through the many programs it will offer to the community, is unprecedented.
The partnership with the YMCA is one of several ways Penrose-St. Francis is taking its expertise into the community. The healthcare system has worked with Colorado Springs churches to launch a healthy lifestyle movement in the church community, it is involved in a youth soccer program and it is working with several large employers to make improved health a priority among their employees.
“Penrose-St. Francis chooses to focus on efficient ways to improve the health of the community we serve and not simply on maximizing reimbursement,” Sabin said. “We are trying to model connecting social platforms in Colorado Springs in hopes that community stakeholders will be inspired to do the same. Imagine the positive impact we could have on our community if we all empowered each other to collaborate. Together we’re stronger.”