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Blue Ribbon Foundation and Wayne County YMCA Help Adults At-Risk For Obesity 60 Low-Income Adults Benefit From Local Wellness Program

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011, Wilkes-Barre, PA — Tami Lane has a new, healthy outlook on life after participating in an adult wellness program offered at the Wayne County YMCA. 

The Honesdale resident was a participant in the Fit and Functional Adult Wellness Program, which was funded by a recent $7,700 grant from The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  The program was designed to help low-income individuals reduce their risks for health-related complications due to being overweight or obese. 

“The Fit and Functional program was a life changing experience for me and my daughter,” said Lane.  “I learned about the importance of reading nutrition labels on food and how to maintain a healthy weight.  I also participated in aerobics classes, and now my blood pressure is lower, I’ve lost weight and I have a lot more energy.”

Lane said she now has a membership to the YMCA where she continues to exercise and participate in activities with her daughter.

To be eligible for the program, Lane and the other participants were identified by local physician referrals and pre-screened for income eligibility.  Before starting the 12-week program, participants were asked to complete a fitness test where YMCA fitness instructors recorded simple activities, such as standing up and sitting down, walking and stretching to test flexibility.  Twice a week, participants would meet with their fitness instructor, attend weekly physical education sessions and have nutritional and behavioral health consultations.  At the end of the 12-week program, participants were asked to complete the fitness test again to measure their results.

During the one-year grant period, the Wayne County YMCA held four, 12-week Fit and Functional programs with the support of The Foundation, benefitting a total of 60 individuals.

“Everyone who participated in the Fit and Functional program saw an improvement in their fitness level,” said Tina Hoehn, Executive Director of the Wayne County YMCA.  “And those participants who were open to change made even more progress in their goal to a healthier lifestyle.  We could not have launched this program without funding from The Blue Ribbon Foundation.”

Given the great success of the Fit and Functional program, Hoehn said the Wayne County YMCA plans to continue to offer programs and classes to educate the community about activities they can do on a daily basis to improve their overall health.

“Funding the Fit and Functional Program has helped at-risk adults make healthy changes in their lives,” said Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation. “By increasing their activity levels and improving their diets, participants are showing that there are simple yet effective ways to reduce the risk of health-related complications due to obesity.”

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to nearly 550,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations BCNEPA serves.

BCNEPA established its private, nonprofit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long-term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.

Media Contact:
Anthony Matrisciano