Since 1906, the YWCA has provided health and wellness programs to promote and protect women’s health. Quality, affordable health care is critical to everyone, especially women and children, many of whom have inadequate health care coverage or no health care coverage at all. Health coverage and programs that address women’s health needs, such as reproductive health and breast cancer screening, can be extremely expensive. The YWCA supports quality, affordable healthcare and believes that every woman deserves access to services that will keep them healthy.
In 1972, the YWCA established the ENCOREplus program, which is dedicated to breast and cervical cancer awareness. YWCAs across the country continue to participate in this and other health programs to provide over 300,000 women with affordable care and support to ensure that all women receive the care necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Below are a few examples of other YWCA programs that help women stay healthy.
- YWCA Salt Lake City’s BodYWise Women Program focuses on women’s health and body image, empowering participants with information on health and nutritional literacy. The program is a six-week series during which participants learn certain lifestyle skills to make healthy choices. The series includes topics such as eating and emotions, body image and nutritional literacy.
- YWCA Minneapolis’s (Minn.) Cancer Recovery Exercise for Women (CREW) Program is a fitness program that helps women recovering from a variety of different types of cancer and features aerobic exercise and movement that helps to increase strength and endurance. The program was inspired by research showing that physical activity helps to prevent recurrence of cancer.
- YWCA Greater Lawrence’s (Mass.) Women’s Health Advocacy Program is a grass-roots network of programs that provides breast health outreach, health education, case management, and access to breast and cervical cancer screening services for medically underinsured women. The services offered by this program include assistance with health insurance enrollment, supported linkage for clinical breast exams, mammograms, pelvic exams, pap tests and overall medical care.
- YWCA Boston’s Women’s Health & Wellness Program offers education and resources on breast and cervical cancer screening, sexual health, self-esteem, cardiovascular health, and prevention programs for obesity, diabetes and domestic violence. The programs include outreach to women of color and immigrant women and girls to encourage them to take control of their personal well-being and health. YWCA Boston also works with community health centers to educate and encourage women to participate in important health exams and studies.