The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is strongly supportive of initiatives that encourage worksite wellness and opportunities for individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices. Our interest in these areas stems from the work of our Health Care Team. This active group launched the Healthy Business Bloomington (HBB) Designation Program last year. Since the launch, three events have been held, centered around worksite wellness, and twelve businesses have received our HBB designation. The goal of the program is to celebrate those businesses that have made a commitment to address workforce health issues, to hold these businesses up as a model for others to follow and to foster dialog and idea exchanges among businesses interested in worksite wellness.
The work of our volunteers and members led us then to participating in the local ACHIEVE initiative, an ongoing effort of 18 months. The vision of the local ACHIEVE team is to empower individuals and catalyze organizations to be a model community that values and embraces the healthy choice as the first choice through collaborative education, policy, and initiatives. The focus of these efforts is to improve communication regarding health and wellness policies across sectors, especially among leadership. The recent announcement of the YMCA’s expansion plans will help our community reach this vision by providing more of our citizens with additional options to make the healthy choice.
The YMCA’s community project also aligns with The Chamber’s involvement in worksite wellness as well as the work of ACHIEVE to build a healthier community. The project, to build a new YMCA facility on the northwest side of our community and renovate the existing building on the south side of Bloomington, is one that we should embrace.
The YMCA enhances the community with health initiatives that directly benefit the future of our community and the business community. And the Cook Group’s Lead Gift Challenge that supports this project will yield excitement and support towards meeting the fundraising goal needed to build the new site and renovate the existing site. Once again, our friends at Cook Group exemplify community stewardship and engagement through their generosity and dedication to this project.
A YMCA located conveniently on the northwest side, has potential to attract people who work on the west side, as well as families and individuals who live on the west and north side of the county. This will allow the Y to continue to make a positive impact on the community through its many health and wellness initiatives. Moreover, we see an opportunity for businesses engaged in worksite wellness initiatives to encourage employees to utilize the new building and look for partnerships in improving employee wellness.
We also see value in the Y’s goal to provide childcare in the new building. Access to childcare is an ongoing issue in the community and the Y’s goal to provide childcare in the northwest facility will ease the ability of more families to work in Bloomington.
We are fortunate to have access to many facilities (both indoor and outdoor) that promote physical activity and healthier lifestyle decisions. Community support for the Y’s endeavors is critical and their respective projects will facilitate additional healthy lifestyle choices by residents in the community.