YMCA, Providence RI
Luca Del Borgo
YMCA of Greater Providence
The YMCA of Greater Providence, through its Health and Wellness Program, strives to offer excellence in fitness facilities and programming suitable to the developmental needs and physical limitations of people at any stage of their life.
We understand the importance, to everyone, of exercise and being able to stay active, and operate an inclusive facility, with access available for people with disabilities to workout alongside general members of the community, in a non-clinical setting. Our Wellness Program staff members are always on hand, to assist membership take charge of their body and work towards their own personal goals.
Our Post Rehab Maintenance Programs incorporates the use of equipment adapted or designed specifically for people with limited physical ability to enable them to reach their full recovery potential, and members include people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and people recovering from a stroke. We expanded our range of specialized equipment in 2010 by acquiring an RT300, funded by grants from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and the Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation.
RT300 is an FES powered system used by increasing numbers of members including those with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy. Since its introduction we have noticed that a session on RT300 enhances an individual’s ability to undertake other activities and/or use other equipment. For people with some ability to ambulate, a workout on the RT300 for example enhances their ability to use a treadmill, with improved balance and gait.
One RT300 user with an incomplete T12 spinal cord injury, 8 years post injury, after a series of session reports being able to feel his toes again and being able to push with his legs on transfer. A member with multiple sclerosis reports being able to walk again without the aid of braces, a tremendous outcome from using RT300.
Our facility is open to all and operates extended hours to provide the optimum access for members. The non-clinical setting means that all family members can utilize the facilities at the same time irrespective of ability or disability. We believe this environment enhances the experience for everyone and increases the motivation of people with physical disabilities to stay the course.
I would like to see every local gymnasium embrace this approach to providing open access for people with disabilities, so that therapy systems like RT300 are more freely available to those who would benefit from it.
YMCA of Greater Providence Health and Wellness Program
The YMCA of Greater Providence, with its Health and Wellness Program, strives to offer excellence in fitness facilities and programming. Health and Wellness programs are developmentally appropriate and help people at any stage of life build positive health habits. Participation in YMCA programs offers youth, adults and families opportunities for positive interaction, friendship, a sense of well being, increased self-confidence and improved mental abilities. YMCA programs and services cut across diverse populations with diverse needs and attempt to take into account the total health of each person.
While we are not a clinic we do require members have the appropriate level of medical authorization to use any of the specialized equipment such as the RT300.
Luca Del Borgo
Luca was a competitive swimmer and had a sports training and fitness industry background before joining the YMCA of Greater Providence as the Regional Health & Wellness Director. He is now studying to finish his pre-med degree and continue toward a masters in Physical Therapy.