Streator YMCA works with OSF Healthcare for expansion
"Executive director Josh Biros said that not only is membership up, but also usage is up 22 percent from this time last year, meaning people in the community are becoming more active. The YMCA has approximately 3,300 members, up from approximately 2,600 before the renovations."
The renovations, which also incorporated input from community members, includes the addition of a 3,400 square feet wellness center to provide a “non-threatening” atmosphere where community members can work towards their wellness goals. “We hope to hear the quiet hum of laughter, fellowship, and overall wellness,” stated Josh Biros, Executive Director of the Streator YMCA. “Everyone who walks through our doors will have the opportunity to reach their fitness goals, and our wellness coaches will be there to assist every step of the way.”
Collaboration of the YMCA and the OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois has led to plans for a new 1,100 square foot “kid zone”. This area will include interactive gaming systems from Axtion Technology and will serve as a demonstration site for the newest software releases.
“We will be the first YMCA to feature this cutting edge technology,” stated Biros. “Our youth will be working as a team, having fun and exercising without even realizing it.”
“It’s really exciting to see this type of work coming together in a collaborative way,” stated Ken Beutke, President of OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center. “The addition of the wellness center will provide a valuable resource to our community that will positively impact the health and wellness of our citizens.”
"How will the new ‘Action Arcade’ room be used?
This location will utilize the room for a variety of populations:
• Evenings, 5-8pm: Older Tween/Teen room
• Daytime: Senior Fitness Class. Young Kids Class.
• Weekends: Family Fitness
• Weekends: Sports Performance
Applications Include: After-School / Kids Fitness / Senior Fitness / Sports Training / Group Training / Camps / Community Events / Healthy Kids Day / Parties
Healthy Kids U by OSF Healthcare
Experts from the YMCA and OSF are working together to form the Healthy Kids U curriculum, beginning with a pilot program to gather feedback and make improvements.
Certain families in the community will be chosen to meet once or twice a week for a 10- to 12-week educational program.
The idea will be to engage families in activities and teach about exercise and healthy eating. Families will graduate through the program to gain an understanding of wellness.
The children's center includes new interactive technology, such as an Immerive Wall, StepmaniaX, Reaction Pro Trainer, Aviron Active Rowers, Nexersys, and Twall, that will be utilized in the program.
The technology allows users to play fitness games on screen, some of them against each other and keep scores on their own profiles. The room also has an interactive climbing wall equipped with targets that light up, rowing, punching bag and button games.
The Healthy Kids U concept was first developed through the OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. In 2017, it expanded to Bloomington-Normal, where OSF works closely with its YMCA to offer a similar service.
"I believe generational health, healthy habits, longevity and joy in life start in childhood, and how can we educate children who depend on communities, parents, schools, their surroundings to live healthy lifestyles?" said Dr. Divya Joshi, president of Children's Hospital of Illinois.
" ... One of the challenges is to engage in activities children might not see at home, and how can we create an environment that is a home outside of home that will engage them in activities and educate them without them knowing they're being taught to choose wisely what to eat, how they exercise and how they move and conduct their lives?"
The Y: We're for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
- Edwin Kasanders