February 2nd, 2021

// YMCA of South Collier unveils COVID Recovery and Wellness Program

Chuck Gillespie, CEO of National Wellness Institute, praises 

COVID Recovery & Wellness Program at the YMCA of South Collier 

The YMCA of South Collier and its community partners welcomed Chuck Gillespie, CEO and President of the National Wellness Institute for a tour of a community-based model of wellness that provides personalized COVID Recovery & Wellness guidance, under medical supervision. 

(Marco Island, FL – February 1, 2021) – The YMCA of South Collier and community partners unveiled a new model of community wellness for Marco Island residents and visitors. Through the COVID Recovery & Wellness Program, members are guided through a personalized action plan to safely recover from the mental and physical effects of living through the pandemic. 

For more than 40 years, the South Collier YMCA has been working to build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for the Marco Island Community. Recognizing that residents of all ages have suffered negative impacts from the stress of social isolation to muscle atrophy from reduced workout routines, and unseen health damage, program leaders developed a strategy to offer coordinated education and support including:

  • COVID-19 Testing – to identify if a person has had the virus and may be at unknown risks. 
  • Customized Health Screening – to identify potential health concerns that should be addressed prior to starting a fitness routine. 
  • Customized Mental Health Screening – to identify underlying signs of anxiety, depression, or substance abuse to help guide individuals to treatment.
  • Recommended Health & Wellness Plan – because each person is unique, this program will provide individualized recommendations to recover individually and reconnect with the community. 

“We have seen across the US and throughout the world that individual citizens are not getting the help they need because health and wellness programs are not accessible.  Even if they have access, they are unable to navigate what is available to them,” said Chuck Gillespie, CEO of the National Wellness Institute. “What is happening in Collier County, though the YMCA of South Collier is a model for the rest of the world.”   

In 2019, the organization formed a healthy living advisory committee to improve services for those living with chronic disease. While the committee began supporting children and families living with diabetes, in April 2020, the organization pivoted to support the overwhelming needs that emerged from the pandemic. 

The YMCA of South Collier is a licensed medical facility, where members may participate in screenings that provide nutritional, physical, and mental wellness recommendations. Through these reports, members can be guided into programs with a similar cohort, with a goal of increasing long-term participation and overall success. 

“Our primary goal moving forward is to keep the momentum of this solution moving forward by engaging more members and bringing more specialized partners into the alliance to improve the overall health and wellness of our community,” said Paul Thein, Managing Partner of CORE Health Partners. 

Community partners contributing to the COVID Recovery & Wellness Initiative include the YMCA of South Collier, National Wellness Institute, University of Florida College of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, CORE Health Partners, David Lawrence Center, Help a Diabetic Child, the Diabetes Alliance Network, Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, and the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SOPE). 

For more information, visit www.MarcoYMCA.org.


COVID Recovery & Wellness Program Community Partners include:

About the National Wellness Institute:  

The National Wellness Institute (NWI) is the worldwide voice of the wellness community.  NWU provides professional development and engagement opportunities that support individuals from a variety of disciplines in promoting the whole person's high-level wellness for all.  For more information, visit www.nationalwellness.org.  

About the YMCA of South Collier County YMCA: 

The YMCA of South Collier was established in 1977 with an original facility built on for the purpose of serving youth. Today the YMCA is the only human service organization in the area providing support for all ages and income levels in our three focus areas: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, and the Y services stretch throughout the southeast corridor of Collier County and as far south as Everglade City. The Marco YMCA facility is the first known medically licensed facility in Florida. For more information, visit www.marcoymca.org.

About Help a Diabetic Child:  

Help a Diabetic Child (HADC) is a 501c3 non-profit formed over a decade ago by the parents of a newly diagnosed child with type1 who set a goal to help others navigate the complexities and expense of diabetes. To date, HADC has purchased hundreds of thousands of glucose test strips, lancets, meters, syringes, pen needles, and other diabetes supplies along with tens of thousands of units of insulin and glucagon pens for children and college students. Besides purchasing lifesaving medical supplies, insulin, and services for children in financial need HADC expanded its scope of service to include promoting diabetes education on self-management, nutrition, and wellness programming and assisting those in financial need with access.  For more information, visit www.helpadiabeticchild.org.

About the Diabetes Alliance Network: 

The Diabetes Alliance Network (DAN) originated through the grassroots effort of Naples Florida philanthropists, people affected by diabetes, physicians, and other healthcare providers.  DAN was designed to improve communication between agencies that directly, or indirectly serve those with diabetes to address barriers that people with diabetes may experience.  Together, agencies pledge to partner with DAN to collectively bridge gaps in resources, care, and diabetes education. The collaboration and communication between agencies are what makes DAN unique. Specific diabetes education and nutritional services are provided by DAN’s partner agencies, as well as support systems that include supplies and financial assistance and access to world-class expertise.  For more information, visit www.findmydan.com.

About the University of Florida College of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology: 

The UF Division of Pediatric Endocrinology is the top-ranked program in the State of Florida and serves over 1,000 children and young adults with diabetes. Dr. Haller, who serves as the Chief of the Division also serves as the medical director of the Help a Diabetic Child Foundation. In collaboration with HADC, the Schulze Foundation, the Naples Children and Education Foundation, and as a part of the Diabetes Alliance Network, the UF Pediatric Endocrinology team is dedicated to improving health disparities throughout the State and specifically in Collier and Lee Counties. For more information, visit www.endo.pediatrics.med.ufl.edu.

About David Lawrence Center:   

Based in Southwest Florida, the David Lawrence Centers is a not-for-profit, leading provider of behavioral health solutions dedicated to inspiring and creating life-changing wellness for every individual. The Center provides innovative, comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, residential, and community-based prevention and treatment services for children and adults who experience mental health, emotional, psychological, and substance use challenges. For more information, visit www.davidlawrencecenter.org.

About Core Health Partners: 

Core Health Partners operates under the belief that as much as 90% of what impacts an individual’s health takes place outside clinical walls. The benefits of effective clinical preventive services (CPS) are clear, yet on average Americans only receive half of the recommended care needed. Core Health Partners formed in late 2017 by a group of former Y employees that were credited for opening the Nation’s first medically integrated YMCA (Clive, Iowa), a unique venture known for initiating the YMCA’s first-ever “Healthy Living Center. CHP became independent in late 2019 and earned national recognition from the American Diabetes Association for its efforts in diabetes-education and self-management. Today CHP offers a variety of pediatric and adult therapy and medical nutritional services at the YMCA and Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy in North Naples.  For more information, visit www.mycorehealthpartners.com.


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