Building on a successful relationship that began decades ago with both organizations’ deep commitment to the Charlotte region and its communities, this partnership addresses the health disparities and social determinants that disproportionately affect many of its citizens and communities. “Our community’s health priorities are too vast for any one organization to tackle alone,” says Todd Tibbits, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. “It has become critically important that we advance our partnership with Atrium Health to meet today’s complex and pressing needs. By combining resources, innovative strategies, expertise and program delivery, we can truly move the needle on many preventable conditions.”
With the 5,700-square-foot Charlotte Internal Medicine and Specialty Group and Carolinas Rehabilitation practice, the Dowd YMCA will serve as the first YMCA of Greater Charlotte location to offer primary care and on-demand care, including Virtual Visit. This will be the third Y location to offer Carolinas Rehabilitation services, in addition to the Sara’s YMCA and Harris YMCA.
This partnership focuses on five key areas: preventing and managing chronic disease, improving behavioral health, improving access to care, reducing violence and eliminating health disparities. Services offered at the new practice, located on E. Morehead Street, include preventative care and wellness exams, treatment of acute illnesses, chronic disease management, women’s health, orthopedic and sports physical therapy, video gait analysis and running assessments, and joint mobilization, among others.
“Nearly half of all adults in our community suffer from one or more chronic conditions. These diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S.,” says Gene Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health. “With our like-minded, community focused missions, this collaboration between Atrium Health and the YMCA is the perfect partnership to address and help solve these critical health issues in our community.”
Unique to this next generation partnership is a commitment to social innovation. Together, the YMCA and Atrium Health are well positioned to innovate novel solutions for some of the most challenging problems that our citizens face, and to create a national example for social innovation in health. To effectively address community health issues, the organizations have created a joint internal Health and Wellness Advisory Board, led by Alisahah Cole, MD, vice president and system medical director of community health at Atrium Health, that have established strategy around the five targeted areas and guide the partnership’s programs alongside the Y’s, evidence-based, licensed programming delivered locally and nationally.
“The partnership between Atrium Health and the YMCA of Greater Charlotte is designed to provide community-centered health, connecting patients to a primary care physician and care team where exercise and nutrition can be incorporated into their care program,” says Dr. Cole. “Together, we are able to provide a combination of medical services and wellness services to improve healthcare and reach people no matter where they are in their health journey.”
Both Atrium Health and the YMCA believe that by doing this work purposefully and thoughtfully – in lockstep with others in the community – significant and long-lasting impact can be made in the lives of Charlotte’s citizens.