Carolinas HealthCare System and YMCA of Greater Charlotte Announce Next Generation Partnership

05.08.2017 Atrium Health News

Carolinas HealthCare System to Become the Official Community Health Partner of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 14, 2017 – The YMCA of Greater Charlotte and Carolinas HealthCare System announce that Carolinas HealthCare System will become the official community health partner of the YMCA.

Building on a successful relationship that began decades ago with both organizations' deep commitment to the Charlotte region and its communities, this new partnership will address the health disparities and social determinants that disproportionately affect many of its citizens and communities. “Our community’s health priorities are too vast for any one organization to tackle alone,” says Todd Tibbits, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. “It has become critically important that we advance our partnership with Carolinas HealthCare System to meet today’s complex and pressing needs. By combining resources, innovative strategies, expertise and program delivery, we can truly move the needle on many preventable conditions.”

“Nearly half of all adults in our community suffer from one or more chronic conditions. These diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S.,” says Gene Woods, president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System. “With our like-minded, community focused missions, this collaboration between Carolinas HealthCare System and the YMCA is the perfect partnership to address and help solve these critical health issues in our community.”

The YMCA/Carolinas HealthCare System partnership is evolving from placing nurses in YMCA facilities, to creating health solutions that ensure each community has programs that directly addresses its unique issues and programming specifically tailored to the community in which it will be implemented.

This partnership will focus on five key areas: preventing and managing chronic disease, improving behavioral health, improving access to care, reducing violence and eliminating health disparities.

Unique to this next generation partnership is a commitment to social innovation. Together, the YMCA and Carolinas HealthCare System are well positioned to innovate novel solutions for some of the most challenging problems that our citizens face, and to create a national example for social innovation in health.

To effectively address community health issues, the organizations will create a joint internal Health and Wellness Advisory Board, led by Alisahah Cole, MD, vice president and system medical director of community health at Carolinas HealthCare System, to establish strategy around the five targeted areas and to guide the partnership’s programs alongside the Y’s evidence-based, licensed programming delivered on locally and nationally.  "Over the past decade, the city of Charlotte has grown and flourished, often lauded across the country as one of the best places to live, yet too many in our communities suffer disproportionately from chronic disease and higher mortality rates," says Dr. Cole. "This partnership will take direct aim at the barriers and challenges all of our citizens and neighbors face in their quest for better health."

The partnership will also include a clinical presence at the Dowd YMCA and a jointly sponsored mobile unit to extend healthcare services to urban and rural communities where access is currently absent or difficult.

Both Carolinas HealthCare System and the YMCA believe that by doing this work purposefully and thoughtfully – in lockstep with others in the community -- significant and long-lasting impact can be made in the lives of Charlotte’s citizens.

About Carolinas HealthCare System

Carolinas HealthCare System, one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.

About YMCA of Greater Charlotte

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, comprised of 19 membership locations and two resident camps, engages approximately 272,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Deeply rooted in the community for over 140 years, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.