West Contra Costa YMCA awarded grant to expand efforts in Richmond


West Contra Costa YMCA Awarded Grant to Expand Efforts to Ensure Healthy Living is Accessible to All in Richmond


The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Heath (REACH) program will allow the West Contra Costa YMCA to deepen its efforts to make health equity a reality in the Richmond community Richmond, CA (March 14, 2013) –

Today, YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the nation’s 2700 YMCAs, selected the YMCA of the East Bay to participate in its Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) initiative.

The West Contra Costa branch of the YMCA of the East Bay, headquartered in Richmond, will direct the grant programs. The goal of REACH is to improve health and eliminate disparities related to chronic diseases in African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino communities.

In October, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) REACH initiative awarded Y-USA a cooperative agreement of up to $4 million per year for up to five years to improve our nation’s health and well-being, with a specific focus on addressing gaps between racial and ethnic groups across the country.

Y-USA is re-awarding this grant, selecting up to 16 new communities per year to participate in the REACH initiative in their communities. The Ys receiving funding are serving communities that reflect populations of under 500,000 and have an established relationship with a geographic area that is at least 50 percent African American/Black or Hispanic/Latino or a combination of the both racial/ethnic groups.

Being selected for the REACH program will allow the West Contra Costa YMCA to address barriers to healthy living in its community.

“As a leading nonprofit committed to healthy living, the Y believes that everyone at the West Contra Costa Y in Richmond deserves to live life to its fullest regardless of where they live or the color of their skin,” said Don Lau, Executive Vice President, YMCA of the East Bay. “The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health funding helps ensure our programs and initiatives are helping those individuals who face the greatest barriers to healthy living.”

Many preventable risk factors—tobacco use, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity—are more common in communities of color, often resulting in higher prevalence of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and asthma, among others. Chronic disease contributes to roughly 75 percent of the $2.5 trillion spent annually on health care in the United States.

To achieve the REACH goals, communities implement targeted interventions that address the specific needs of African American/ Black and Hispanic/Latino communities.

The critical need strategies that the West Contra Costa Y will be working on in their community, include: being able to be physically active live in places that encourage emotional well-being

“Where you live should not affect your health,” said Neil Nicoll, President and CEO, YMCA of the USA. “Yet, too many communities lack the resources for individuals to access opportunities for physical activity and healthy foods and improve their health and well-being. The Y’s longstanding partnership with CDC has allowed us to strengthen communities through programs and initiatives that create environments where all people have the opportunity to make a healthy choice. These funds enable us to continue this work and expand it to communities that need it most.”

The YMCA of the East Bay one of 16 Ys selected to receive funds through REACH.

Ys who will receive funds are: YMCA of Silicon Valley Gilroy/San Martin, CA YMCA of Memphis & The Mid-South Memphis, TN YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids Grand Rapids, MI YMCA of Greater Kansas City Wyandotte County, KS YMCA of Greater Whittier Whittier, CA YMCA of the East Bay Richmond, CA Ed & Ruth Lehman YMCA Longmont; Boulder County, CO YMCA of Yonkers Yonkers; Westchester County, NY YMCA of Western North Carolina Inc. Shiloh, NC Florida’s First Coast YMCA Duval County, FL Merrimack Valley YMCA Lawrence, MA Greater Syracuse YMCA Syracuse, NY YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford Hartford, CT Old Colony YMCA Stoughton; Brockton, MA YMCA of the Triangle Area SE Raleigh, NC York & York County YMCA York, PA Several other national organizations will work with Y-USA to help achieve the goals of the cooperative agreement. Partners include the American Psychological Association, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Council of La Raza and California State University at Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health.

All of the organizations funded through the REACH program bring the resources, dedication, and experience as leaders in this effort to create health equity across the country. To learn more about the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program, including previous funded programs, visit www.cdc.gov/reach.


About the East Bay Y System: The YMCA of the East Bay is one of Northern California’s largest non-profit trainers and deployers of volunteers. Last year the East Bay YMCA trained more than 500 volunteers in programs ranging from childcare to teen enrichment, health and wellness and cultural harmony. With nine branches and almost 50 childcare centers in operation from Fremont to the Yolo County, the East Bay YMCA Association also has the largest geographic reach of any YMCA operation in North America. Formed as a 501 (c) (3) corporation on July 20, 1879, the not-for-profit East Bay YMCA operates branches in downtown Oakland, Fremont, Newark, Hayward, Castro Valley, Richmond, and Dublin, as well as camps in Livermore, Pescadero (San Mateo County) and Redway (Humboldt County). All locations are for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. About the Y: The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net 100 Pringle Avenue, Suite 233 North Broadway, CA 94596 P: (925) 930-9848 F: (925) 930-9903 www.gallen.com

Robert Rogers