The YMCA of Rock River Valley was awarded a Program Excellence Award at the Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs annual rally for its JOYNT program.
The Program Excellence Award celebrates Y programs that are innovative and make a difference in communities across the state of Illinois. The JOYNT program is a three-pronged approach to help patients in need of joint replacement surgery reach the required BMI to qualify. This program focuses on exercise, nutrition and mental health to help participants not only reach the BMI goal, but also make healthy lifestyle changes that will help them have a better qualify of life post-surgery.
JOYNT is an acronym for Judson, Ortho, YMCA Navigating Transformation. We no longer partner with Judson because students graduated creating too much change over, although we kept the same name for the program because we are grateful to Judson for helping us launch this concept. KP Counseling has joined the program to provide the counseling component.
Participants start out in the pool to get some movement in a way that allows them more range of motion and less stress on painful joints. And because they become comfortable in the pool, it's often where they return once they've been released post-surgery. We've seen huge success with the program since its inception in fall of 2018 and have since expanded to another facility branch.
Three community partners came together to address a large need to help people live healthier lives. We have now also partnered with the UIC Rockford College of Medicine to start collecting data from this program in the hopes it can qualify for insurance coverage in the future. The program is only available through physician referral.