Inside Belleville article published October 28, 2016. Article in full pasted below.
Erin Stewart, Quinte West News
A new health care prescription has made its way to the Quinte region; it’s not actual medicine, but a 60-day pass to the YMCA to get people moving.
The Quinte West and Belleville YMCA have launched “The Prescription to Physical Activity to Better Health” initiative, in partnership with the Department of Family Medicine Queen’s Family Health Team, Belleville Nurse Practitioners and the Belleville and Quinte West Community Health Centre, to promote the importance of regular activity through utilizing prescriptions.
Health care providers through the three partnerships can now prescribe physical activity through the 60-day YMCA trial period to patients who would like to change their lifestyle or could use some more exercise.
Bianca Sclippa-Barrett, health promoter at the Belleville and Quinte West Community Health Centre, said the centre is excited to be involved in the new initiative during the project’s launch at the Belleville YMCA on Wednesday Oct. 26.
“We certainly work at providing a holistic approach to health care and this partnership allows us to provide more than good advice when it comes to physical activity,” she said.
“It helps people get the access that they need, the tools and support that they need to make positive changes in their lives,” said Sclippa-Barrett. “So the Prescription to Health program will help leverage the different strengths and resources here in our community to benefit the whole community and definitely a big win-win for us all.”
The Prescription aims to tackle the growing problem of sedentary lifestyles by addressing the common barriers of motivation and access.
David Allan, President and CEO for the YMCA of Central East Ontario, said people who receive a prescription through the health care providers at the programs partners will be we welcomed to the YMCA with a tour and scheduled an appointment with a trainer who will help explore interests, personal goals, demonstrations and more.
“When somebody gets something from their doctor, they tend to take advantage of that and will use that and realize there’s a need,” he said. “So it’s up to us then to make sure that they are welcome and given the opportunity to succeed.”
The key is involvement, said Allan.
“We are committed to building healthy communities… making sure that people are given the opportunity to do the things they want to do that will change their life.” He said. “If they want to swim they can swim, if they want to use the treadmill we will teach them how to use the treadmill, if they want to attend classes, they can attend classes.”
The program was initially launched as a pilot project in Peterborough, said Allan, and had a great response.
“We launched it in Peterborough and it’s been very successful there so we felt we will launch it in this community, knowing that it’ll make a difference.”
Allan said he’s excited to launch the initiative in Belleville and Quinte West and said it starts immediately.
More partnerships within the community are definitely welcome, said Allan. The more the merrier, if more family physicians or any health care providers would like to get involved.