By Kim Polacek, APR, CPRC - June 22, 2023
Moffitt is the new sponsor of YMCA of the Suncoast’s cancer survivorship program. Together, the two organizations will work to enhance and expand the 12-week wellness program to offer more benefits to its participants and their families.
The YMCA Survivorship & Wellness Program Powered by Moffitt provides two sessions a week that are facilitated by YMCA-certified instructors who focus on improving cardiovascular conditioning, strength, balance and flexibility. Survivors and those in active cancer treatment can enroll in the program at any of the seven YMCA of the Suncoast locations in Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando and Citrus counties. There is no cost to join the program, which includes a three-month membership to the YMCA. The program’s first group will start in June. Interested participants can contact their local Suncoast YMCA location.
“Moffitt is focused on the health and well-being of our community and our patients and their families. Our relationship with the YMCA of the Suncoast will allow us to maximize our impact and improve the lives of cancer patients and survivors,” said Dr. John Cleveland, Moffitt center director and chief scientific officer.
"Our relationship with the YMCA of the Suncoast will allow us to maximize our impact and improve the lives of cancer patients and survivors."- Dr. John Cleveland, Center Director, Chief Scientific Officer
This partnership highlights Moffitt’s commitment to providing cancer prevention, research, education and outreach to our local communities. The Support for Community Organization Research Engagement (SCORE) initiative — which is part of Moffitt’s Office of Community Outreach, Engagement and Equity led by Dr. Susan T. Vadaparampil — is supporting this work with the YMCA of the Suncoast.
“We are excited about our new relationship with the YMCA of the Suncoast because we have made a strong mutual commitment to work together to continually evolve and improve the program. This partnership will create an incredible opportunity to provide the latest Moffitt-developed evidence-based interventions and information to members of the program, and to collaborate on research projects that are specifically designed to improve the program and reduce health disparities throughout our community,” said Dr. Jennifer I. Vidrine, assistant center director for Research Community Partnerships at Moffitt and leader of the SCORE initiative.
"This partnership will create an incredible opportunity to provide the latest Moffitt-developed evidence-based interventions and information to members of the program, and to collaborate on research projects that are specifically designed to improve the program and reduce health disparities throughout our community."- Dr. Jennifer I. Vidrine, Assistant Center Director, Research Community Partnerships
One such research collaboration is Project Rally, led by Dr. Nathan Parker, in partnership with YMCA of the Suncoast. Project Rally is a pickleball program for cancer survivors and their families and friends. Physical activity improves cancer treatment outcomes and enhances quality of life, which is important for survivorship. Unfortunately, more than half of cancer survivors fail to meet aerobic activity guidelines. Project Rally will allow Moffitt to analyze whether a pickleball program can meaningfully increase levels of physical activity among survivors and contribute to improving their overall health and wellness.
"As our partnership grows, we expect to offer additional research opportunities for survivorship program participants, including studies aimed at improving physical strength, reducing fatigue, and enhancing diet and nutrition,” Vidrine said.