Spectrum Health Announces YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids Pillar Sponsorship

Grand Rapids, Mich., Oct. 3, 2017 – Spectrum Health announced it will join the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids as a Pillar Partner. The sponsorship will provide additional community access to the YMCA’s Veggie Van, a mobile farmer’s market that supplies locally grown fruits and vegetables to areas with limited access to fresh produce.

The partnership also means the YMCA will provide fitness classes to Spectrum Health patients enrolled in diabetes management programs and Spectrum Health’s Programa Puente, which serves the Latino population.

“Spectrum Health is committed to improving the health and wellness of the communities we serve,” said Tina Freese Decker, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Spectrum Health. “We have made tremendous strides in improving health, as evidenced by the work of our Healthier Communities program, but there is more to do. Fruit and vegetable consumption, along with a healthy diet and physical activity, has shown to be critical to stave off disease and obesity in all populations.”

The Veggie Van is a service of the YMCA and is the area’s first and only mobile farmers market. The program operates year round, making daily stops in urban neighborhoods throughout Grand Rapids and Muskegon, ensuring that fruits and vegetables are available to people who otherwise have limited access to fresh produce. The van sells locally grown, top-quality fruits and vegetables at reduced prices and accepts SNAP and Senior Fresh/Market FRESH benefits.

Through the Spectrum Health sponsorship, the Veggie Van will provide free produce at some of its stops.

“The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is pleased to partner with Spectrum Health and sends a heartfelt thank you for becoming a Pillar Partner,” said Scott Lewis, president and CEO, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. “It’s hard to believe that many of our West Michigan neighbors live in areas where buying fresh produce is difficult. The Veggie Van fills a critical need, providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly in areas where access is limited.”

The partnership with the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is one of many community events that Spectrum Health is hosting or sponsoring to thank community members and recognize the 20th anniversary of the creation of Spectrum Health.

Spectrum Health officially formed on Sept. 19, 1997, following the merger of Butterworth Hospital and Blodgett Memorial Medical Center – two Grand Rapids-based community hospitals. Since then, Spectrum Health has grown to become a network of 12 hospitals and 180 ambulatory and service sites throughout West Michigan; 3,200 physicians and advanced practice provides, including 1,400 members of Spectrum Health Medical Group; 25,500 employees; and Priority Health, a health plan with 792,000 members.

About Spectrum Health’s History:

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 180 ambulatory and service sites; 3,600 physicians and advanced practice providers, including 1,500 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan that served 996,000 members in fiscal year 2017. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 26,000 employees. The organization provided $372 million in community benefit during its 2017 fiscal year. Spectrum Health was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems—and in the top five among the largest health systems—in 2017 by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM. This is the sixth time the organization has received this recognition.

Susan Krieger
Media Relations
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