Bringing Healthy Living to Burlington Town Center A Greater Burlington Y and Burlington Town Center

Diabetes Prevention Program (YDPP) workshop that kicks off on March 14th, 2016




Doug Bishop

Greater Burlington YMCA


Bringing Healthy Living to Burlington Town Center

A Greater Burlington Y and Burlington Town Center Partnership

February 29, 2016 -- Burlington, VT – With the goal of making access to healthy living workshops easier, the Greater Burlington YMCA and Burlington Town Center announced a partnership today for an innovative use of space in the downtown mall. The Y will use space in the mall near the Cherry Street entrance to hold a Y Diabetes Prevention Program (YDPP) workshop that kicks off on March 14th.

“Along with youth development and social responsibility, healthy living is one of the Y’s three areas of focus for building stronger communities,” said Ryan Torres, Community Health Initiatives Director at the Greater Burlington YMCA. “The opportunity to use such a familiar and well-used community space is exciting. The work of the Y is amplified when we can find partners such as Burlington Town Center and we are very appreciative of their support through this donated space.”

One in four Americans (86 million people) have prediabetes, up from 79 million in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Yet, only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it. With awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

In the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, a trained lifestyle coach introduces topics in a supportive, small group environment and encourages participants as they explore how healthy eating, physical activity and behavior changes can benefit their health. The program is provided at no cost to the participants as part of six health self-management programs offered through Vermont’s Blueprint for Health.

“The Y is a tremendous community asset. We want the Burlington Town Center, now and as it is redeveloped, to be used by and for our community,” said Don Sinex of Devonwood Investors, the Town Center’s owner. “It was a natural fit for the Burlington Town Center to work with the Y to provide space for this workshop and other Y programs. We hope that the location and accessibility of the Burlington Town Center will make the Y’s wellness programs even more widely available,” Sinex added.

For the Y, the Burlington Town Center was an attractive opportunity. With parking, available space and ease of accessibility to the workshop location on the main level just across from the Cherry Street entrance, the Y is hopeful that the diabetes prevention workshop will attract participants it might not otherwise reach. The convenience for those working in downtown businesses to join this program and the proximity to senior housing, including Cathedral Square across the street, are particularly advantageous.

“We are optimistic about running our first workshop at Burlington Town Center,” Torres said. “It is our hope that a successful run will open the door to additional health self-management workshops being offered in this space,” he added.

The Y’s use of the space is not limited to the workshops and the organization is looking to how it might bring fitness classes to the location in the coming months. The storefront windows are also anticipated to be used as a showcase for Y programs and perhaps even a display of historic photos and memorabilia, as the Greater Burlington Y prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary later this year.

Those interested in signing up for the Y Diabetes Prevention Program workshop that starts on March 14th can reach out to Kristin Magnant at the Y by calling 652-8196 or by email at To learn more about this program and the other five health self management programs offered through Vermont’s Blueprint for Health, visit


About the Y

The Greater Burlington YMCA is a non-profit organization with a mission to build a strong community by involving youth, adults and families in programs and activities that develop spirit, mind and body. Last year, the Y awarded close to $600,000 in financial assistance so everyone could access the Y’s life-enriching programs regardless of ability to pay.


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