The Y Can Close Health Gaps


New numbers show Florida has large health gaps across the state. As an inclusive organization focused on strengthening community, the Y believes everyone deserves equal opportunity to live a healthy life. Because of this mission, we are pleased to see out of 67 counties in the state, Hillsborough County ranks 25th and Pasco County ranks 38th in the 2018 County Health Rankings. Both counties saw an improvement in their health ratings this year.


The report, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, makes it clear that where you live influences how well and how long you live. The local-level data demonstrates good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education and jobs.


Several other factors can determine health, including community safety, diet and exercise. The good news is the Tampa YMCA is already helping in many of these critical areas. The Y is here for you—your community partner—serving as a healthy place to live, learn, work and play.


One way the Y is working to improve community health is tackling obesity and its associated chronic diseases through the Y Weight program. The 12-week weight management class is free for Everywhere members. Participants learn about nutrition, exercise, time management, reading nutrition labels, fad diets and new skills to improve their personal wellness programs. This program, in addition to Y Diabetes Prevention Program, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA, Pedaling for Parkinson’s, Enhance®Fitness and SilverSneakers, helps address health disparities but there’s plenty more to do.


As a leading voice on health and wellness, the Y continues to brainstorm and implement innovative classes, programs and initiatives that have been shown to work in real life. Stop by your local Y to see how we can help! And if you want to read more about the new health rankings click here.

Pictured above: A Y Weight class in action at the Bob Sierra North Tampa YMCA.

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