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Wellmark Foundation awards grant funds to YMCA of the Metropolitan Cedar Rapids Area

Grant, chosen from 112 applicants, helps implement physical activity program for older adults with arthritis

June 2, 2014

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Today, the Wellmark Foundation and the YMCA of the Metropolitan Cedar Rapids Area held a check presentation to celebrate a $7,208 grant to help fund the EnhanceFitness in the Cedar Rapids Metro Area project. EnhanceFitness is a physical activity program for older adults with arthritis or those with mobility challenges. YMCA of Cedar Rapids plans to pilot this program at both YMCA and community partnership sites.

EnhanceFitness in the Cedar Rapids Metro Area
EnhanceFitness is an evidence-based group exercise program that uses simple, easy to learn movements that motivate individuals with arthritis to stay active throughout their life. Each class session includes cardiovascular, strength training, balance, and flexibility exercises and the fostering of strong social relationships between participants. Classes are beginning June 2nd at the YMCA at Mercy Health Plaza; 5264 Council St NE in Cedar Rapids. In 2015 the program will expand to additional sites within the community.

“Together, with the support of the Wellmark Foundation, we are committed to providing individuals with the access and support to lead healthy lives and connecting neighbors so they can come together for the common good,” said Robert Carlson, President & CEO of the YMCA. “We are grateful for Wellmark Foundation’s generous support of our program.  Through EnhanceFitness, we will help people with arthritis improve their health while creating a sense of community and allowing them to remain independent.  We appreciate Wellmark’s dedication to the Y mission and to the health of our community.”

Grant one of only nineteen selected
The Wellmark Foundation is a non-profit foundation that seeks to improve the health of Iowans, South Dakotans, and their communities. Through its 2014 Healthy Communities small grant program, the Foundation received 112 grant requests from various organizations seeking support for smaller community health projects. This grant award to the YMCA of the Metropolitan Cedar Rapids Area represents one of nineteen competitively awarded grants across Iowa and South Dakota to establish pilot efforts or expand upon current community health initiatives.

The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award a cumulative total of $404,000 to these nineteen grant recipients.

"EnhanceFitness is a unique physical activity program for adults with arthritis and mobility challenges," said Stephanie Perry, The Wellmark Foundation. "The Wellmark Foundation is happy to help bring this pilot project to the Cedar Rapids community." 

For more information on EnhanceFitness, contact Kim Jass-Ramirez, 319.377.7361 / jass@crmetroymca.org. For more information regarding the Wellmark Foundation and its grant programs, contact Teresa Roof at (515) 376-5869 or visit www.wellmark.com/foundation.

About The Wellmark Foundation
The Wellmark Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Please visit The Wellmark Foundation's Web site to learn more about our grant program, as well as a list of previous grant recipients. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and The Wellmark Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About YMCA of the Metropolitan Cedar Rapids Area
The Y is a leading nonprofit strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For 146 years, the YMCA of the Metropolitan Cedar Rapids Area has been a cause-driven organization committed to improving the health and well-being of children and families, impacting tens of thousands of lives annually. To learn more, visit crmetroymca.org.

 


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