Lakeland Hills YMCA Keeping Members Healthy "Virtually"

May 26, 2020

Amid Covid-19, Lakeland Hills Family YMCA continues to help individuals focus on their health through its telehealth program. The Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program initially began onsite with 32 participants. However, virtual visits are now the mainstay. 

Periodic telehealth visits are scheduled with nurses to discuss individual health cases while the original program offered self-monitoring and office visits. Patients also are equipped with blood pressure devices, and results are sent electronically to team nurses regularly.

As a result of proactive online visits, two people were diagnosed with an arrhythmia and immediately recommended for further treatment that ultimately saved their lives. “We were fortunate to provide the online diagnosis so these individuals could get the necessary care as soon as possible,” stated Anthony Shovlowsky, Lakeland Hills YMCA Fitness Director.

The Lakeland YMCA is also among more than 200 Ys across the country that helps thousands of people reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes through the Diabetes Prevention Program. This small-group program helps people with prediabetes eat healthier, increase their physical activity, and lose weight. Proactive activities can delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The one-year program includes 25 sessions--19 weekly sessions, followed by six monthly sessions.

“When Covid-19 hit, we had two cohorts in different stages of the program,” said Shovlowsky. “The first group had already gone through the first 19 weeks of classroom learning, and the second group had just begun their third week.”

In addition to weekly weigh-ins, the group will report in food journals and keep a log for all physical activity. To keep the momentum going with the groups during the pandemic, the Lakeland Y team decided to continue the program by offering virtual group sessions. A Health Coach facilitates virtual weekly meetings using Zoom video technology. The goals are to keep participants motivated to maintain progress toward their health goals.

“The virtual weekly meetings have been successful, and most members were able to quickly adapt to this new normal of preventive health,” said Shovlowsky.