Dillon is one of many rural communities working hard to help create a healthier Montana. The Southwestern Montana Family YMCA has partnered with many Dillon organizations to increase the health and wellness of their residents through a variety of programs.
In November 2008, the SW MT Family YMCA launched their first four month Biggest Loser campaign with thirty-six participants. This campaign included both educational and physical activity programs. Participants were weighed and measured each week; kept a daily food record; and were able to use the YMCA facilities for four months at no extra charge. The campaign also offered a variety of workshops with topics ranging from stress management to healthy eating with a variety of guest speakers. The SW MT Family YMCA received a positive response to this program including a participant losing fifty pounds. They plan to begin their next Biggest Loser campaign in March of 2009.
The SW MT Family YMCA is working with the Barrett Hospital on a program aimed at lifestyle changes. Dillon was one of four sites in Montana to receive a grant for prevention. This program began in February, 2009. There was a one hundred dollar registration fee for this program. The fee included membership to the YMCA through the duration of the program. Individuals who were at high risk for chronic diseases were eligible to participate. There were forty participants for this program. The participants are tracked for one year with blood tests taken twice per year. The program includes fifteen education programs, trained lifestyle coaches, and sponsored group exercise programs.
Dillon’s local public schools and the SW MT Family YMCA have collaborated to create a sixth grade program. This program began in November, 2009. Eighty-two sixth grade students participated in an orientation visit per month during school hours for six months. During these visits, students were able to exercise or swim. They also received a free one year membership, and the student’s families were offered a discount membership.
The SW MT Family YMCA will be working with the County Commissioner’s Office on improving Dillon’s walking/biking path. This year, the biking and walking path by the North end of town will be increased by two miles. Next year, they plan to work on the path behind the YMCA.