The YMCA's Healthy Lifestyle Programs Continued to Improve Lives | Annual Report

Last updated: June 6, 2024, at 9:35 a.m. PT

Originally published: June 6, 2024, at 9:27 a.m. PT

Y member working out with y staff helping

Healthy lifestyle programs like the Diabetes Prevention Program, Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program, and Wellness for Life are a few of the Y’s life enhancing programs that continued to improve the lives of hundreds of people in 2023.

Wellness for Life, the Y’s holistic approach to improving long-term health through a support community, made an impact for 130 participants. “I think it provided a secure place to hear and share struggles with getting on the right track to a healthier lifestyle,” a participant shared. “Something certainly shifted in my mind set during our weekly calls and I told myself, “I can do this!”

The Actively Changing Together (ACT!) program, which helps kids and their families practice healthier habits as a team, served 100 families in 2023 including many from a partnership with the University of Washington Kent Des Moines Primary Care Clinic. Dr. Doreen Kiss shared, “A pair of siblings who are currently in the program came in today jazzed about their experience. They love the workouts and nutrition ideas and recited many of the things they learned. One of them had Type 2 diabetes and has now dropped down to the prediabetes range and the other sibling who had prediabetes, is no longer prediabetic. We celebrated like crazy today and this absolutely made my day. We don’t often see such success stories and such commitment to a healthier lifestyle.”

To ensure these programs are accessible to all, the Y’s Community Health Navigator team brings these programs directly to underserved populations in our region. Through outreach, language translation, and cultural sensitivity, they embody the Y’s mission of health equity for all.

While we are proud of the work we are doing, we know that we are only meeting a portion of the need. With the support of our community, we continue to work to increase the number of people we are serving and our impact to the community. 


  • 14,686 people built confidence in the water through lifesaving swim lessons.
  • 6,053 kids were active and learned lifelong lessons by participating in youth sports.
  • 591people became healthier through chronic disease prevention and management programming.

“The skills I learned in the blood pressure management class were so valuable. For the first time in four years, my blood pressure at my fall physical was in the normal range. I am still managing my salt intake and adding a yoga class has really helped me. Thank you so much for teaching this class.” ~ Auburn YMCA Participant