Columbus, OH,
17:02 PM

OhioHealth and the YMCA Join Forces to Create the Healthy Communities Partnership

OhioHealth - YMCA

Partnership will expand prevention and wellness programs throughout region

The YMCA of Central Ohio and OhioHealth announced today the formation of a new initiative called the Healthy Communities Partnership which aims to transform the overall health and wellness of the individuals and communities they serve.

The multi-year, multi-disciplinary strategic partnership is the first of its kind in the region and will leverage the reach, resources and capabilities of two trusted organizations to bring unparalleled services and programming to the people of central Ohio. Chronic disease prevention and maintenance programming are currently being offered at local Ys as part of the initiative.

“The Y has been in the business of health and wellness and community engagement for over a century,” stated Stephen Ives, president and CEO for the YMCA of Central Ohio. “People recognize the Y as a place they’re comfortable coming to. But in this day and age, the needs for progressive and integrated health initiatives are really extraordinary. This partnership brings two organizations together, whose missions are aligned, to provide clinical expertise and a positive influence over people’s lifestyle changes.”

“We believe that healthcare of tomorrow means preventing disease as much as it is about curing disease today,” said Teri Caulin-Glaser, MD, Senior VP of clinical service lines at OhioHealth. “That will mean new models of healthcare that make it simple, accessible, and more affordable for the people who receive it. We think this new partnership is one very positive step in helping to make that happen.”

The YMCA and OhioHealth have been working together for several years to provide wellness and prevention programs for their respective associates including a membership rewards option for eligible OhioHealth associates if they meet visit goals to their local YMCA. OhioHealth’s Employer Services division provides biometric screenings, flu vaccines and wellness programs to YMCA employees.

Programming has expanded over the past two years to engage communities. OhioHealth’s Delay the Disease program for those living with Parkinson’s disease is now offered at several YMCA locations.

More recently, the two organizations have partnered to pilot disease-specific wellness programs including bone health and one for individuals with multiple sclerosis.

These programs provide an integrated care approach for patients recovering from treatment or who are living with a physical condition. This methodology allows for an easy, safe, and coordinated transition from medically-supervised rehabilitation to ongoing exercise programs.

“Membership at the YMCA is not required to participate in Healthy Communities programs,” shared Ives. “Individuals may be referred to any of these programs by their physicians; or for programs open to the public like the bone health, they can sign up at participating YMCAs.”

Looking forward, Healthy Communities programming will continue to grow. Specifically, there is an interest in diabetes prevention, programs for patients with neurological disease and a transition program for OhioHealth cardiac rehab patients.

“This will help us offer a next-level of care to our patients by connecting them with programs and services at the Y,” added Caulin-Glaser. “And because it will be closer to where they live, work or play, the chances of them actually being able to make it to those classes is increased significantly, which means their chances of staying healthy also increases.”

The partnership allows OhioHealth to be recognized as the exclusive Healthy Communities partner at 13 YMCA locations in the greater central Ohio area.

“This is a win-win-win situation,” said Ives. “For the YMCA and our members, it’s an opportunity to extend our relationship with the respected healthcare professionals at OhioHealth. For OhioHealth, it’s an opportunity to extend care and wellness programs to their patients and associates. And for the community, it is just the beginning of what will be many new and innovative programs to help people lead healthier lives.”

About the YMCA

The Y is one of Central Ohio’s leading nonprofits, strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

We are a diverse association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life, joined together by a shared commitment to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve our community’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors.

As part of the fabric of Central Ohio for over 160 years, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

For more information about the YMCA of Central Ohio, visit

About OhioHealth

OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 12 years in a row, 2007-2018.

Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 29,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 10 hospitals, 200+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.

OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital and OhioHealth Shelby Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at