Mercy Health Funding Unique Partnership

Mercy Health  announces a summer partnership with the Mareda Center and the Wayman-Palmer YMCA designed to reduce summer learning loss and promote health among youth.

As part of its commitment to the vitality of the Cherry Street corridor, Mercy Health will donate $25,000 to fund the summer program for youth living in the nearby Moody Manor.

“This six-week program is the first time three neighborhood organizations are coming together for the benefit of the children living around us,” said Allison Perz, Mareda Center director and the developer of the initiative. “We all knew one another’s organizations; we believed in our individual missions; and, we wanted to work together. It was just a matter of figuring out how we could best benefit the children in our neighborhood.”

The partnership marks the first time these three entities have come together to build a meaningful summer program for area youth.

The Mareda Center is an education and outreach center serving families living in nearby subsidized housing. It is located on Page Street on the campus of Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center. The Wayman-Palmer YMCA and the Mercy Health Franklin Avenue Medical Center are within walking distance to the center. 

During the summer program, The Mareda Center will work with children on Reading, Math and Science through activities designed to enrich and reinforce learning concepts.  Mercy Health will offer programs focused on healthy eating, healthy choices, food prep and kitchen safety. The Wayman-Palmer YMCA will focus on gross motor, sports, and other fun activities designed to encourage physical health and well-being.

“This is an exciting initiative and the Wayman Palmer YMCA is really excited to be a part of it.  We hope this is just the start of something that can be expanded over the next few years,” said Eric Williams, director of Wayman Palmer YMCA. “This kind of partnership and focus is the kind of thing that helps turn neighborhoods around.”  

Linda Bert, regional manager at the Mercy Health – Franklin Avenue Medical Center agreed. “It is our hope that by engaging area children and their families, health care and family wellness will take on a new significance in the lives of our neighbors,” she said. “We want to help prevent health issues and promote wellness in this community.  We see this as one step to proactive care and we are so pleased to be a part of this initiative.”

The program began June 11 with 50 children enrolled.  Program partners are hoping to expand to allow additional children to participate next year.