Making Connections Count

In the recent Stanford Social Innovation Review article “Using National Networks to Tackle Chronic Disease” authors from The Bridgespan Group, the organization with which I work, explore the role national nonprofit networks can take in combating chronic disease and promoting healthier living. They go on to discuss how networks, in particular the YMCA and OASIS through its CATCH program, are partnering with others and using their reach in local communities to take on public health issues like childhood obesity and diabetes.

The article made me reflect on our Y’s efforts in these areas. The Southern District YMCA (SDYMCA) has made strides in helping families make healthy choices through our partnership with 5-2-1-0 Steps Up!. Using the 5-2-1-0 program, we’re promoting physical activity and healthy eating habits in our School Age Child Care programs in 15 communities and through our local schools. And many of our events, like our 5K Trail Run and upcoming Winterfest, invite community members to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and importantly, get to know one another better.

It’s these connections and the opportunity for building and strengthening them that really inspire my work on the board. There’s huge potential to make our connections count, whether in our role tackling large national public health issues or simply helping strengthen our community through building relationships. I’d be interested in hearing from you about where you think we can make our connections count. What are your hopes for the SDYMCA as we embark on building a facility in Exeter? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

Carole Matthews
Board Member, Southern District YMCA
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