It's a 10-year alliance that makes medically directed health services more convenient to more people. Both WakeMed and the YMCA of the Triangle have been in the health and fitness business for a long time. They hope the expertise of both organizations will have a greater impact on the health of the community.
"The YMCA of the Triangle and WakeMed are joining forces to serve the community needs of total health," said YMCA of the Triangle CEO Doug McMillan.
Beginning Feb. 1, WakeMed will offer a variety of health education and services at three YMCA's in Cary, North Raleigh and Wakefield.
Health screenings on Wednesday were only a sample of what's to come. YMCA member Shuming Weinberger was quick to take a break from exercise to get a check on her health.
"And everybody should really concentrate on their health because then you see less doctors, right?" said Weinberger.
Promoting fitness and preventing illness is the mission of both organizations. A juvenile pre-diabetes class is an example of what will be offered at Triangle Y's. Children at risk of Type-2 diabetes attend nutritional classes and get help starting good exercise habits.
Other programs will cater to the needs of the elderly -- even medically supervised rehabilitation for heart patients. The goal is keep people healthier longer and avoid the rising costs of hospital care.
"Health communities can go about the business of the community instead of simply the business of taking care of the sick," said WakeMed CEO Bill Atkinson.
Many of the new programs will be offered free to many people in the community. Other programs are just part of YMCA membership. The partnership will eventually expand to the Central YMCA near downtown Raleigh and the Southwest Wake YMCA in Apex.