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August 3, 2018 - 6:49pm

Idea of integrating Senior Center with new Healthy Living Center floated at legislative meeting

img_1959walker.jpg

As the YMCA and UMMC have developed their plans for a new Healthy Living Center at Main and Bank streets they've found they could have available as much as 7,000 square feet to accommodate new space for the Genesee County Senior Center and the Office of the Aging.

County staff, led by County Manager Jay Gsell are working with the Y and UMMC on determining if such a merger of operations would be feasible.

Rob Walker (top photo), director of the Genesee Area YMCA in Batavia, and Dan Ireland, CEO of UMMC, brought the plan to members of the Legislature during the Human Services Committee meeting on Monday as part of a review of the progress on the Healthy Living Center plans.

"What we want to do is have a meaningful discussion with Jay and the team about what option does that present," Walker said. "How can that space be filled? How can it integrate with the community living area?"

The facility will be 85,000 square feet and contain community space, exercise space, a pool, a gym, meeting rooms and an interior walking/running track.

There will also be what Walker and Ireland called a "community living room" in the middle of the building with access from Main Street that will be open to all members of the community, without requiring a Y membership or the services of UMMC. The community living room will be a hub to access services at the facility or just meet with other community members.

The UMMC portion of the building will provide primary care, Ireland said, as well as a residency teaching program, behavioral health and crisis intervention, telemedicine, cancer prevention outreach services such as breast and colon cancer screenings, diabetes, cardiac conditions, dietary education, education services for team members and community.

The goal, Ireland said, is to increase the integration of services across the spectrum of needs for community members, and partnering with the Office of the Aging will help enhance that integration.

"A fully integrated network doesn’t just mean us getting other doctors or other specialists," Ireland said. "It means integrating services within the community. It’s integration with the YMCA and sharing resources and services to touch the community. It means integrating with the Senior Center and the Office of Aging."

Construction on the new YMCA portion should begin in 2019 and once the new Y portion of the building is open, the existing Y can be torn down and the UMMC portion of the building can be added.

If the county decides to integrate its senior, and perhaps its youth, programs, with the Healthy Living Center, it would be up to the county to decide what to do with the existing Senior Center building on Bank Street. Walker acknowledged it is a county asset.

Walker addressed the future of the building while answering questions about access to the new building for seniors using county services.

"Does the current building need to exist?" Walker said. "If it does, it does. But if it doesn't, that helps the flow of access."

The legislature is not being asked to take any action at this time and members were comfortable with letting Gsell and staff continue the discussions.

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