The Y Expands Efforts to Ensure Healthy Living is Accessible to All

Ten Ys receive Community Transformation Grants to support the health and well-being of African American and Hispanic communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 12, 2012) Today, YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the nation’s 2,700 YMCAs, announced that 10 Ys will receive grants of $65,000 each to lead efforts in their communities to ensure healthy opportunities are available to all. 

The grants are part of the Community Transformation Grants program (CTGs) – a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and lower health care costs. Y-USA – one of seven national organizations to receive funding through CTGs – will work with 10 Ys to deepen their efforts to implement programs and strategies that support the health and well-being of individuals in their communities, with a specific focus on African American and Hispanic individuals.

“As a leading nonprofit committed to improving the nation’s health, the Y believes that all people deserve to live life to its fullest regardless of where they live,” said Neil Nicoll, President and CEO, YMCA of the USA. “The Y exists to fulfill community needs, and creating greater access to opportunities that promote health is one of our highest priorities.  The Community Transformation Grants program will help Ys ensure that their programs and initiatives are helping individuals who face the greatest barriers to healthy living.”

The Y’s CTGs efforts will focus on two main areas: 

  1. Coordinating and linking systems between health care providers, clinical settings and community-based organizations in predominately African American and Hispanic communities to help guide individuals to prevention efforts/programs such as the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program that are proven to increase health outcomes.
  2. Enhancing local efforts to implement community-wide strategies that create environments in early childhood and afterschool settings that ease the adoption of healthy eating and physical activity standards with an emphasis on locations serving African American and Hispanic populations.

The 10 Ys selected to receive funds through CTGs are: 

Community Y of MarshalltownMarshalltown, IA
Rye YMCAPort Chester, NY
YMCA of Central KentuckyLexington, KY
YMCA of DelawareWilmington, DE
YMCA of Greater CincinnatiCincinnati, OH
YMCA of Greater Fort WayneFort Wayne, IN
YMCA of Greater IndianapolisIndianapolis, IN
YMCA of Greater LouisvilleLouisville, KY
YMCA of Greater SeattleSeattle, WA
YMCA of Southern ArizonaTucson, AZ

“The CDC congratulates all of the new community awardees. The success of the Community Transformation Grants program is in its multi-sectorial partnerships, which maximizes community efforts to improve health where we live, work, play and learn,” said Dr. Rebecca Bunnell, Acting Director of the Division of Community Health, CDC. “The Y has an excellent track record of fostering healthier communities and these new awardees will help expand access to healthy food and physical activity community-wide. This type of local action is critical in our efforts to prevent diabetes and reduce the disturbing increases in childhood obesity that we've seen over the past 20 years. We are so pleased to work with outstanding partners like Y-USA in our joint commitment to make healthy living easier."

The 10 YMCAs will work over a period of 16 months to deepen their efforts and learn new ways to improve the health and well-being of African Americans and Hispanics in their communities.  The outcomes and learnings from the initiative will help generate leading practices that will be shared with other YMCAs, as well as the CDC, in order to make an impact across the nation. 


About the Y The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million 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. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

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