West Suburban YMCA And Anthem Team Up To Prevent Childhood Obesity

March 11, 2011

$81,500 grant supporting NEW Kids at the Y program


The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee (the Y) is pleased to announce a $81,573 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to support NEW Kids at the Y, a program working to decrease the incidence of childhood obesity by promoting healthy, active lifestyles.


NEW Kids at the Y is a lifestyle education program for families with overweight children offered at our West Suburban YMCA and six additional YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee centers. Designed by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Y, the program offers weekly ongoing support, nutrition and exercise education to families, the full range of Y programs for getting and staying active, and ongoing communication with families’ primary care physicians or pediatricians who receive periodic progress updates from NEW Kids at the Y staff. The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation grant is funding a program facilitator position for NEW Kids at the Y, new program materials, and instructional staff to help run and expand the program at various YMCA centers in metropolitan Milwaukee.


Janet McMahon, senior strategy advisor of healthy lifestyles for the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, said that as a result of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation’s support, the Y will be able to better meet the needs of families and teach them to establish, nurture and maintain new, healthier habits.


“The grant from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation is helping the NEW Kids at the Y program reach deeper into the community. With the support of organizations such as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, we are able to continue meeting and exceeding our goal of helping families and children lead healthier lifestyles.”


Early program success:

Jumpstarted by the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation grant, the Y expanded the NEW Kids at the Y program to more centers in order to engage participants throughout the Metropolitan Milwaukee area in Fall 2010. Since the expansion, the program has enrolled 45 families who, over the course of five weeks, learned about active lifestyles and nutrition; all while increasing their confidence in healthy decision making and most importantly having fun. The Y and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation have set a goal of building on this early success and expect to enroll more than 80 families in the Winter & Spring 2011 programs. New program sessions begin in April.


“The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and addressing health disparities,” said Larry Schreiber, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. “We are proud to partner with the YMCA on this program because we know that by teaching children and families about healthy lifestyles we can provide them with the resources they need to live their happiest, healthiest lives possible.”


Successful weight management and good health for children depends on the level of investment of parents and caregivers. Therefore, in order for a child to participate in NEW Kids at the Y a parent or guardian must participate with the child; siblings are encouraged to attend as well. For more information about the program or to enroll your child, please contact the NEW Kids at the Y program coordinator at (414) 274-0832.


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