Centraide promotes local physical health services

October 14 – Physical health is key to improving overall well-being, and many local organizations offer services to help support and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

United Way partners with many different companies that all work to provide physical health options to the community. This week, Centraide highlights these physical health partners as part of their annual campaign.

The YMCA offers many healthy lifestyle programs.

“For physical health, we offer a variety of group exercise classes,” said YMCA Healthy Living Manager Christy Mayfield. “We also offer programs for a wide range of abilities and mobility. Anyone who has just come out of injury or is quite advanced with weightlifting exercises, we have a class available for you. We also have classes available for those struggling with cancer survivorship and our general gym membership.”

Mayfield highlighted the benefits of maintaining good physical health.

“Physical health has a huge impact, not only on biomechanics and health, fitness, reducing the risk of injury and disease, but also, it’s a huge help on a mental level,” Mayfield said. “I think we’re all kind of relieved when we exercise, when we get our heart rate up a bit and so it’s really a very healthy approach to controlling your overall health.”

Health programs also lead to developing friendships with people in the community, Mayfield said.

“We have a larger group of seniors who come to a variety of classes here and one thing I constantly hear from a lot of our members is that coming here feels like a good support system,” Mayfield said. “They have their people seeing them in class every time and we check in on each other. It’s super important to have that kind of community.”

SingleCare Prescription Assistance is another United Way partner bringing physical health benefits to the St. Joseph area.

“You can go online and access the discount from your phone or from a computer on the web and it just helps people save money on their prescription drugs,” said Kylee Strough, President of United Way of Greater St. Joseph. “We don’t want anyone having to choose between eating or paying rent or maybe having the medicine they’re supposed to take because they can’t fully afford it.”

Strough said he has had great success with people saving money through SingleCare.

“Since inception in this area in 2007, more than $2.8 million has been saved by area residents who present the card when getting a prescription filled,” Strough said. “This last month of September alone, it was over $15,000 and the average savings was $84 per prescription sold. So it’s really easy to use.”

Children’s Mercy also strives to support physical health through its services.

“(Our clinic is) really for children who have already established care with us and are able to continue their care at this clinic. We provide access to over 30 specialist areas,” said Amanda Swanson, Head of corporate philanthropic giving at Children’s Mercy.

Children’s Mercy also added Mosaic as a Metro Neonatal Service Program partner in 2019 to provide more child health care options in St. Joseph.

“We wanted to make sure our NICU nurses could care for the babies when they were born at Mosaic,” Swanson said. “Before, we added that every year about 50 babies were transported, so either by ambulance or by helicopter to Kansas City. We really reduced that number because we kind of integrated our nursing staff and our nursing specialty in this production at Mosaic.”

Swanson said one of the main goals of setting up the clinic in St. Joseph is to help more people locally.

“Ten years ago we opened a clinic on the Mosaic campus, which has really helped us achieve some of our strategic goals of serving children where they are, rather than forcing them to come to us. see,” Swanson said. “We know it’s a burden on families to travel to Kansas City for care because they have to take the day off, the child misses school and money for gas.”

Visit the United Way website at www.stjosephunitedway.org/unitedincaring for more information on local fitness options.

Sara Rooney can be reached at [email protected]

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