BUFFALO, N.Y., Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- YMCA Buffalo Niagara today unveiled plans to develop a 92,000-square-foot state-of-the-art family branch to be built in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst. Construction is scheduled for completion in late 2012.
William M. Collins, chairman of the YMCA board of trustees, announced that the facility will be known as the Independent Health Family Branch YMCA as the result of a unique partnership with the health plan. "Aligning their common goals of improving health and wellness in Western New York, YMCA Buffalo Niagara and Independent Health are teaming up to establish a facility that will integrate personal and family fitness opportunities with comprehensive on-site medical services," said Collins.
According to Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president/CEO of Independent Health, the health plan's $2 million commitment -- which gives it naming rights in perpetuity -- represents a significant investment in the YMCA and a true partnership between the two not-for-profit organizations.
"This collaboration allows Independent Health the opportunity to establish an integrated medical fitness model that will engage our members and the entire community in health promotion and wellness activities with the ultimate goal of managing and preventing chronic conditions, thus lowering the medical cost trend," said Dr. Cropp. Independent Health will have an on-site presence, offering health and wellness activities including customized fitness programs and discounted fees for members.
The total cost of the new YMCA, including land acquisition, site approvals, design, construction, and equipment is estimated at $23 million.
John Murray, president/CEO of YMCA Buffalo Niagara, said the new two-story branch will feature two 7,700-square-foot gymnasiums, an indoor running track, fitness center, and two swimming pools. It will utilize energy-efficient, green technology. Building updates are available at www.IndependentHealthFamilyYMCA.org.
The new Independent Health Family Branch YMCA will also include a comprehensive medical component equipped to house primary care and other specialty services. "The addition of the health care and medical components will further strengthen the viability and success of the new facility while supporting the organization's ongoing efforts," said Collins, adding that details and the name of the medical group involved have not yet been finalized.
"Collaborations with innovative organizations such as Independent Health provide the opportunity for those wanting to take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle to do so at the YMCA," said Collins.
As part of the partnership, Independent Health members will be eligible to participate in programming with the YMCA specifically targeting obesity and fitness at any of the YMCA's seven local branches.
Locally founded in 1852, YMCA Buffalo Niagara www.ymcabuffaloniagara.org serves more than 100,000 people annually throughout Western New York.
Headquartered in Buffalo, Independent Health www.independenthealth.com began operations in 1980 and has consistently been rated among the top health plans in the country for customer service and member satisfaction. It provides health benefits and services to nearly 375,000 individuals locally and throughout the country.
SOURCE YMCA Buffalo Niagara; Independent Health