Eugene, Ore. — In a unique collaboration aimed at improving health outcomes in Lane County, the Eugene Family YMCA and PeaceHealth have signed a 10-year contract to develop a suite of combined educational, wellness and health programming for youth, adults and families in the new Y facility on 24th Avenue and Hilyard Street.
“For the past 135 years, the YMCA has been expanding and innovating in order to meet the evolving needs of Lane County. These years of service have reinforced a foundational truth: Organizations are most impactful when they collaborate,” said Eugene Family YMCA CEO Brian Steffen. “The vision for the future of the YMCA’s work goes far beyond a new facility, it encompasses new partnerships and collaborations. The Eugene Family YMCA is honored to partner with a leading local medical provider to create preventative health programming that will directly address the social determinants of health—the conditions in the environment where people are born, live, learn, work, play and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.”
The $1.25 million PeaceHealth partnership includes the naming of the new Y’s Health & Wellness Center, which will be called 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 in its ability to reach, guide, inform and transform lives.”
The decade-long medical partnership launches a new era in preventative health care in the community. It officially begins when the new Y opens in December 2023.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see the incredible impact that partnerships between community and healthcare organizations can have on enhancing health outcomes,” said Susan Blane, Director of Community Health for PeaceHealth Oregon. “A key strategic goal for PeaceHealth is to continue to expand wellness services into our communities. The Y is a perfect partner to accomplish this. Early preventative care is necessary to combat disease and illness that can have devastating results. PeaceHealth is looking 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 about 75,000 square feet of programmable space, which includes pools, youth dedicated spaces, group fitness rooms, an indoor track, a gymnasium, a 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 such a variety of programs like a new parents’ walking group, a space for bodyweight plyometrics or a falls prevention program. Collaborating with PeaceHealth experts ensures that each and every offering is as robust as possible and generates increased results.”
Improving health outcomes is a priority for government officials, medical providers, social service organizations and nonprofits that support people, such as the YMCA. In Lane County, these groups have started a community-based effort 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 address 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 past an office visit and can have a measurable effect, in both the short term 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 wellness programs, preventative medicine and medical screenings easily administered and assessed in a non-clinical environment. Goal development will focus on common, chronic, preventable disease processes and the elimination of health risks. These programs will be managed by a committee comprising Y and PeaceHealth leaders.
“We know that collaborations between YMCAs and medical providers can improve health outcomes, reduce medical costs and enhance quality of life,” said YMCA of the USA President and CEO Suzanne McCormick. “With fitness experts, wellness coaches and, most importantly, people who’ve had similar experiences, a YMCA is an ideal place for patients to rehab injuries, recover from illness or prevent disease. This partnership is a smart, community-centered approach to health care.”
The PeaceHealth partnership will complement other new relationships formed to support the work at 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 pledged for the $48 million new Y project is $45.3 million.
About the Y:
The Eugene Family YMCA is one of the region’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Each year across Lane County, the 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 assistance. The YMCA has been serving the Eugene-area since 1887.
PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 1,100 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission.