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Marco Y adds clinical programs to its services

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Nurse Monica Ramos monitors blood pressure during a recent health fair at the Y.

Marco's YMCA of South Collier is bolstering its "healthy living" mantra by introducing clinical fitness programs and screenings.

The Y has collaborated with Core Health Partners, and together now offer services such as physical aquatic therapy, pediatric therapies as well as adult occupational and physical therapy, screening for autism, and access to a world class pediatric endocrinology tele-health program.

The endocrinology program, under the auspices of the University of Florida, deals with metabolic and endocrine disorders in children.

"The (Marco) Y now has the status of a health clinic, and accepts insurance (via doctor referral)," said Paul Thein, who is owner and senior vice-president for advancement and partnerships of Core Health Partners. "This is the first of its kind in the state of Florida. We take medical clinical professionals and integrate them with the Y's programs."

The overall aim, he added, is to partner with more community organizations to offer these on-site clinical options.

Regular pool fitness programs, as shown here, are to be expanded to include aquatic occupational therapy programs.

The Y has long been a proponent of exercise and fitness programs, and its proper nutrition education initiative is being refined to "medical nutrition therapy," according to Thein.

"This will be done through a series of clinical dieticians and nutritionists, either through tele-health or on site," he said.

With Ys throughout the nation being the most prolific providers of pools, the physical aquatic therapy initiative makes absolute sense because moving in water is smoother and less weight bearing, he said.

Aquatic OT is one of the programs that accepts insurances, incidentally.

Pediatric OT is also a logical addition, Thein added, because Ys are also the largest caretakers for children in the nation. Screenings for children are free.

All the clinical youth services are presented in the Y's Youth Development Center, and relevant precautions are, of course, in effect.

"It's a new look for a new Y," Thein said. "It's the first medically licensed YMCA."

Part of Core Health Partners' mission statement sums up the goals: 

"Counseling lifestyle change cannot realistically be effective without being coordinated with efforts in the community that create living conditions that support healthier choices.

"CHP's integrated health care model offers education, lifestyle intervention, and clinical services in supportive community center environments and their clinic to community’ format is designed for duplication across the nation."

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See more information about CHP at

mycorehealthpartners.com, and for more on the Y's wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit marcoymca.org or call 394-YMCA (9622). Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco; on Facebook @marcoymca, and Instagram at ymcamarco.