Gift Challenge Match for Fitness Programming Exceeds Goals, Raises $26,000 for Patient Supports

UPDATE APRIL 2021:

Thanks to the support of our community, nearly $8,000 was raised in January-March matching gift challenge, exceeding the $5,000 goal by 60%! The original donor was so impressed with the outpouring of support that they matched the full $8,000 amount raised.

From their initial gift and the match campaign, $26,000 has been raised in support of patient fitness and wellness.


ORIGINAL STORY:

Anonymous donor gives $10,000, pledges to match up to $5,000 more, to show improvement in health outcomes through fitness and exercise

The new year often brings in resolutions to get in shape, and fitness can play a life-saving role in health outcomes, particularly with chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, Wheeler has received a $10,000 gift, with a pledge to match up to $5,000 more if other donors come forward by March 31, to help patients achieve better wellness through fitness in 2021.
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The gift supports, within a supervised plan of health care at Wheeler, gym memberships, personal coaching, fitness programs, and equipment needed for motivated patients to become healthier through exercise.

“Wheeler’s approach to health is about all the parts of wellness coming together,” the donor says. “Times are so difficult for so many people today, and if this gift allows patients to take control of their fitness in ways they couldn’t consider before, their health will improve.”

Incidences of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are widespread in the patients Wheeler serves at its five Family Health & Wellness Centers in Bristol, Hartford, New Britain, Plainville, and Waterbury. Patients often have significant unmet health care needs and are also affected by the social determinants of health daily. Many of the risk factors of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and general illness are similar: poor nutrition, environmental and social factors, and lack of exercise.

“We know that regular exercise brings provable, significant improvement in mental and physical health,” said Sabrina Trocchi, PhD, MPA, Wheeler’s President and CEO. “It’s easy to simply tell a patient, ‘Exercise more,’ but many of the individuals we serve are not able to afford tools like gym memberships, personal trainers, or fitness equipment. Our donor is providing hope in a healthier tomorrow for patients who are committed to taking that first step to fitness.”

Community health centers like Wheeler are the primary medical home for over 29 million people in more than 12,000 rural and urban communities across America and care for some of the deadliest chronic diseases that medically vulnerable individuals face.

Data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) of Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Centers reveals that 16.5 percent of its patients have hypertension, and almost 8 percent have diabetes. Within its patients with diabetes, 35.67% have poor control of their disease, which is higher than the statewide average.

Patients who benefit from the gift will have pre- and post-plan data points measured and tracked through regular visits with their care team, and there are plans to expand the program after the first year if significant improvement is shown.

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