Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA, Morehouse School of Medicine Join Forces for Fitness at Community Impact Day

Community Impact Day health fair and YMCA membership drive included CrossFit demo, info on Health360x

YMCA MSM Community Impact Day

Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) employees and others traded in work clothes for workout clothes to celebrate healthy living during Community Impact Day, held July 27 on campus.

Organized in partnership with the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA, the health fair and membership drive for the Southwest Atlanta YMCA branch included health and wellness sessions as well as group workouts with President and Dean Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Dr. Elizabeth Ofili, senior associate dean and director of MSM's Clinical Research Center. Rice, a CrossFit enthusiast, told attendees the event dovetailed with MSM's vision: Leading the creation and advancement of health equity.

"One of the ways we know we can achieve health equity is by being healthier, partnering with our community and those who understand the value of that," she said. "Today, our ability to partner with the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA is one of those opportunities. It’s an institution that’s also committed to keeping the community healthy."

Community Impact Day, which included a tour of MSM's Clinical Research Center and information on Health360x, helped increase membership for the Young Family YMCA, with the Y offering MSM employees and students a startup fee waiver and membership discount. The Southwest Atlanta YMCA branch is named after former Atlanta Mayor and ex-United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young and his younger brother, both of whom were in attendance.

The elder Young told the crowd he was first exposed to the YMCA when he became a member of the Dryades Street YMCA in New Orleans at the age of 4. The former politico said stress "kills" and can be combatted with proper diet and exercise.

"One of the things I've learned is that … to stay sane I have to work off some tensions and frustrations," he said.

Steve Smith, chairman of the Young Family YMCA board, referenced MSM's social mission when he took the podium to underline the benefits of a YMCA membership.

"The YMCA is an answer to some of those health disparities in terms of your ability to not only heal physically, but spiritually--emotionally as well--through your participation," Smith said.

The Young Family YMCA is the YMCA branch that MSM's David Hefner, Ed.D., chief of staff and vice president for strategic planning, grew up going to. He said it offered far more than just an opportunity to learn to swim and work out properly.

"This YMCA has helped raise a lot of people in the Southwest community," he said.


Related links:

Visit the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA webpage for more information about the Southwest Atlanta branch.

Visit MSM's community engagement page to learn how MSM is making positive change through research, community service, and educational outreach.