Streator, IL,
11:04 AM

The "Y's" of Wellness in Streator

Ribbon cut on YMCA expansion, part of innovative OSF Rural Health Care project

The plan is cutting edge. Develop a road map for residents in rural communities to stay healthy while providing them the resources and services they'll need to find their way. So, it's only appropriate that the cutting of ribbon signified the opening of one of the key steps on that journey. 

The celebration was for the opening of a newly expanded area of the Streator (IL) Family YMCA, through a $1 million donation from and a partnership with OSF HealthCare, that includes a new Wellness Center and a youth exercise room that's a blend of fun and technology, called the Action Arcade.

"This week already we've seen in this room upwards of 30 kids here," says Josh Biros, Executive Director of the Streator Family YMCA. "So that's a big jump in kids that are being active. And another thing about this technology is it tracks information. So, data. So, we can track that and understand how it's getting used. Particular machines actually track calories - creates sort of a competitive environment. So, kids can keep on that and track their progress." 

"Part of that is a "Healthy Kids University" that really looks at, not just childhood obesity, but we've really done a deep dive to say what are the components of overall wellness," says Don Damron, Vice President of Ambulatory Services and Administrator for OSF HealthCare Center for Health - Streator. "Whether that's behavioral health or spiritual wellness. Really looking at addressing the whole person."

Josh Biros on YMCA Action Arcade
Don Damron of OSF on childhood health

The Streator Y Wellness Center, meanwhile, adds considerably more space and equipment in an effort to encourage and attract more people in the community to exercise. It's also more accessible - open 24/7. 

"For those in a senior population, those with disabilities." says Josh Biros, Executive Director of the Streator Family YMCA. "And then we have been working specifically with the rehab department at the (OSF) Center for Health. So, through that program we are going to, kind of, refer people that are through phase one and two of cardiac rehab out here to the Y. And also engaging OSF providers in the new technology call pieces iris, which is a way for OSF providers to engage with our wellness coaches."

Josh Biros on YMCA new Welness Center

There is still some work to be done - like the development of programs to take full advantage of the expanded YMCA spaces - but this marks a significant step in OSF HealthCare's overall plans to improve the health and wellbeing of residents in the Streator region.  

"It's really about keeping people healthy," says Don Damron, Vice President of Ambulatory Services and Administrator for OSF HealthCare Center for Health - Streator. "So, how can we partner in the community to do that. It's not the health system alone that can be overly successful in that. Not the YMCA or any other organization in the community that can really stand alone and accomplish that. It's really going to take us coming together." 

Don Damron of OSF on Rural Health Care plan

Damron says numerous initiatives, such as those being identified and implemented by "Live Well Streator", are well underway and generating enthusiastic support from the community.

Additionally, the centerpiece of OSF's Rural Health Care program, the Center for Health - Streator, is in the second phase of a four phase renovation and is expected to be completed one year from now.

Learn more at 

Streator Family YMCA b-roll