By Jonathan Bissonnette
Pawtucket - The YMCA of Pawtucket on Tuesday announced that it has joined the City of Central Falls, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, and the Blackstone valley Health Care, Inc. in creating a “neighborhood health station,” the first of its kind in the nation.
The health station is designed to build community, create economic development, transform health care delivery through local communities, and provide a place for people to gather with friends to exercise and grow together, YMCA officials said.
Central Falls Mayor James Diossa in a release said, “We thank the YMCA of Pawtucket for providing this extraordinary opportunity for the residents of Central Falls, and for joining us as we create the state’s first Neighborhood Health Station in Central Falls.”
“The Y shares on our belief that through a coordinated effort, we can support Central Falls residents’ efforts to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle,” Diossa added.
Esselton McNulty, executive director of the YMCA of Pawtucket, on Tuesday told The Times that the concept “is for me, a very important one.”
“If we can be the first, I’m hoping we can set a model that’s worthy of replication,” McNulty said of the health station being the first offered in the country.
Michael Fine, health policy adviser to the mayor of Central Falls, said: “We are joining together to create a healthy community. Health is a community. Health is collaboration.”
“Physical Activity is critical to heath,” Fine continued. “Now Blackstone Valley Health Care and Memorial Hospital urgent Care doctors and staff will be able to write exercise prescriptions for their patients, and now those patients can be filled.”
“The YMCA of Pawtucket will offer free demonstration programs to Central Falls families at both the MacColl YMCA on Breakneck Hill Road in Lincoln and the Family YMCA on Summer Street in Pawtucket.
Starting July 8, and continuing through Aug. 20, the YMCA of Pawtucket will offer the following complimentary programs to Central Falls residents- Family open swim at the MacColl YMCA’s community pool on Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Free bus transportation will also be provided, with pick-up from Jenks Park in Central Falls.- Zumba group exercise class for adults and teenagers ages 14 and up at the Pawtucket Family YMCA on Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m.- Aqua-Fit group exercise class for adults and teenagers age 14 and up at the Pawtucket Family YMCA pool on Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m.
The programs being offered this summer are part of a demonstration to see how much interest the YMCA receives families. Additionally, McNulty said the YMCA’s role in the project in “to make the program successful for Central Falls families.”
“We’re hoping… a good turnout so that we can help demonstrate that these programs are of interest to the residents and that the likelihood that they continue to participate is good,” McNulty added.
Space is limited. Those interested must register in advance by calling the Central Falls Recreation Department at 401-727-7455.
Image credit, the YMCA