Friday, March 14, 2014

YMCA receives grant for cancer survivor program

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- More cancer survivors will have access to a wellness program at the Providence YMCA/Ball Family Center, thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Dr. Prem Reddy Foundation.

The grant will fund four 12-week sessions of the Y’s cancer survivor wellness program available to any adults who have received a cancer diagnosis. The small-group program is provided free to participants.

It supports the increasing number of cancer survivors who find themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to attempt to return to their normal life or their “new normal.”

“Promoting health in body, mind and spirit through exercise and education is at the core of the Y’s mission,” said Bill Blunck, executive director of the Providence YMCA/Ball Family Center. “We are grateful to the Dr. Prem Reddy Foundation for helping us further that mission and most importantly for helping us provide a program that allows cancer survivors to thrive.”

Program participants work with Y staff trained in supportive cancer care to safely achieve their goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; and improving confidence and self-esteem. By focusing on the whole person and not the disease, the program helps people move beyond cancer.

Medical studies have shown that moderate levels of appropriate physical activity can reduce fatigue, boost self-esteem and improve muscle strength and physical endurance in individuals following cancer treatment.

Dr. Reddy, who came who came from an impoverished background to become a cardiologist in California, is the founder and chairman of Prime Healthcare Services. Prime specializes in buying financially distressed hospitals and turning them around.

Prime Healthcare now owns and runs 23 hospitals across the country, including Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., and Saint John Hospital in Leavenworth, Kan., which were purchased from the Sisters of Charity Health System in April 2013.

Dr. Reddy and his family founded the Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that has donated millions to various charities, including those that support health education, college scholarships, public healthcare education and free community clinics. 

Additionally, the Prime Healthcare Foundation was founded and entirely funded by Dr. Reddy and his family with current assets of over $700 million.  It owns six nonprofit acute care hospitals both in California and Texas, which are considered community assets.