VA, YMCA team up to boost veterans' health

Published September 2 2017
Updated September 3 2017

NORTH TAMPA — Veterans and their families are invited to a free health fair at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the New Tampa YMCA, 16221 Compton Drive, to kick off a new partnership between the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and Clinics.

Leaders of the YMCA and VA will come together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to begin working in a mutually-beneficial manner to promote and enhance the health and well-being of veterans and their families at multiple Tampa Y locations in Hillsborough and East Pasco counties.

After the ceremonial signing, veterans and their families are invited to take part in the health fair from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. They will be able to tour the facility and learn about how they can benefit from Y programming that builds healthy spirit, mind and body at all Tampa Y locations. Attendees will also be able to participate in health screenings, fitness assessments, yoga demos, group exercise demos, free giveaways and light refreshments.

The health fair is the first step in a new partnership where the Tampa Y will work directly with the VA to provide programming and services targeting the veteran population. Such Y programming includes, but is not limited to, prediabetes education, fitness regimens and support for cancer survivors, arthritis and Parkinson's patients. The overall goal of this partnership is to enhance the experience and access to programming and resources that contribute to the health and well-being of veterans and their families.

"Partnering with strong organizations like the YMCA helps us serve veterans better," said James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital Director Joe Battle in a news release. "We are thrilled to bolster our whole health approach to wellness for veterans with the Y."

Tampa Y President & CEO Tom Looby said in the release that his organization is excited about the partnership. "We are honored to have the opportunity to help better the minds, bodies and spirits of our nation's heroes,'' he said.

— Times staff

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