Partnership treats mind, body and spirit

As leaders from the Rite Hite Family YMCA and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – Brown Deer look on, Deacon Terrance McGuire, former senior vice president of mission services for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, officiated at the formal blessing of the new YMCA Healthy Lifestyle Village in Brown Deer, June 17. (Submitted photo courtesy Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare)


Partnership aims to treat mind, spirit, body

Wheaton Franciscan, YMCA create Lifestyle Village


By Karen Mahoney
Special to your Catholic Herald

BROWN DEER – It used to be, when a doctor recommended medical treatment, the patient might change diets, have surgery, or begin taking a cocktail of prescription medications to combat the disease.

Now, a doctor at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare can also write a “prescription” for exercise and watch the patient’s life transform.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee recently unveiled a transformation of the former Schroeder Branch YMCA campus into the YMCA Healthy Lifestyle Village, 9250 N. Green Bay Road.

Joined by a common lobby attached to the facility, now known as Rite-Hite Family YMCA, the 60,000-square foot, three-story building houses Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-Brown Deer, an endoscopy suite, pain management center, full service imaging, nuclear medicine, cardiac stress testing, physical therapy, medical laboratory and an urgent care center.

“From the very inception of this partnership we have been working with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in order to provide relevant and innovative programs to our members and the community as a whole,” said Bob Yamachika, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. “Our newly renovated Rite-Hite Family YMCA provides members and the community the opportunity to live healthier in spirit, mind and body, and their options are enhanced through the offerings at Wheaton.”

The YMCA offers individual and family programs in fitness, aquatics, pre-school, day camp, family and teen programs. Older adults will find the village convenient and welcoming, said Lori Holly, spokesperson for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

“This unique partnership helps families and individuals to develop a plan for a healthier lifestyle. By combining the services and expertise of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and the Rite-Hite Family YMCA, families and individuals can be proactive about their health and their health care.”

Those over 50 will be pleased to find services specifically for them, such as cardiac testing, vascular testing, a GI center, and management for back and neck pain, headaches, disc herniations, spinal stenosis and arthritis.

“We also have a performance center that provides physical therapy for conditions such as neurologic impairments, balance and dizziness with a fall prevention program,” said Holly. “We also offer biofeedback, pelvic floor rehabilitation for incontinence, functional capacity evaluations and muscle testing and strengthening.”

Patients are excited with the combined facility and the opportunity to make significant changes in their overall health with activities such as water exercise, yoga stretch, senior fitness, Parkinson’s class and SilverSneakers classes.

Additionally, the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center offers senior water exercise classes to focus on low impact programs that can benefit adults with arthritis and arthritis related conditions. According to Holly, the water provides gentle resistance to build muscle strength and supports joints to encourage free movement.

Following exercise, gathering places offer seniors a place to relax.

“Informational programs on various topics are offered to exercise the mind, while regular socials, potlucks and other events feed the spirit,” said Holly. “The efficiencies and benefits we can afford those who visit the YMCA Healthy Lifestyle village are great.”

We can provide a comprehensive solution to critical health and fitness challenges. The two organizations, through this joint effort, can integrate services to help address health issues that area residents face, such as obesity. In addition, independent YMCA research conducted locally showed members are asking for more health and wellness education and services to promote a healthier lifestyle. Through this partnership, we will be able to meet that need.”

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