MDCH, YMCAs Partner to Promote Healthy Programs for Michigan Kids

Contact: Jennifer Smith (517) 241-2112

For Immediate Release: October 10, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and State Alliance of Michigan YMCAs are partnering to expand and enhance the MDCH Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Before/After School and Summer Program for school-age children. Through the partnership, the State Alliance of YMCAs will receive $400,000 in funding to work with schools and their communities to teach kids healthy habits and address childhood obesity.

“The Michigan Department of Community Health is proud to join forces with the State Alliance of Michigan YMCAs in the fight against childhood obesity by supporting out of school time programming,” said MDCH Director Nick Lyon. “By providing children with additional opportunities for physical activity and nutrition education, this partnership will promote healthy futures making Michigan a healthier, stronger state.”

MDCH is funding the State Alliance to work with ten YMCAs statewide including locations in Ann Arbor, Benton Harbor, Cadillac, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette, and Monroe. Michigan YMCAs are uniquely positioned to address the physical health of school-age children, as 81.4 percent of Michiganders live within five miles of a YMCA program site. Programming will impact more than 5,000 students in nearly 40 schools across the state, and is closely aligned with the Governor’s Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan.

“The YMCA of the USA is proud of the work being done by local YMCAs across Michigan, and by the Michigan Alliance of YMCAs,” said Matt Longjohn M.D. MPH, a Michigan resident and the National Health Officer for the YMCA of the USA.  “The Y has made a national commitment to being the largest and healthiest national non-profit provider of early learning and after-school programs. This grant from MDCH will allow us to advance that goal and to publicly demonstrate what is achievable statewide when Ys work together to serve children and families, and to strengthen our communities.”

The Alliance’s purpose is to lead statewide advocacy and public policy efforts that advance YMCAs’ collective ability to impact the health of our communities, facilitate connections and strengthen networks for YMCAs and Michigan residents.   MDCH funding will allow Ys to maintain their ability to respond to community needs, while simultaneously strengthening a statewide collective effort.  

For more information about the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan, visit To locate a before or after school program near you, contact your local YMCA.

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