NASHVILLE, TN — The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation is bringing a BlueCross Healthy Place to the Northwest Family YMCA in Nashville.
The YMCA, which opened its doors in 1971, serves as a community resource for around 5,000 residents of the North Nashville and Bordeaux neighborhoods of Metro Nashville.
The BlueCross Foundation is providing $5.3 million for the project build and an additional $1,060,000 in a maintenance fund, bringing the total investment to $6,360,000. When complete, the space’s facilities will be available to all residents, including those without a YMCA membership.
“We are immensely grateful for this transformational grant, and it could not come at a more pivotal time for our city,” said Dan Dummermuth, YMCA of Middle Tennessee president and CEO. “Although we cannot celebrate the news in person amidst the pandemic, this is certainly a powerful reminder that there are brighter days ahead and that our community will emerge stronger with an incredible new resource in the Bordeaux-North Nashville area.”
Proposed features, based on community needs, include:
· Water features
· Inclusive play areas for children
ages 2-5 and 5-12
· Challenge course
· Basketball/pickleball courts
· Multi-purpose field
· Walking path
· Adult fitness equipment
· Shade structures
“When our team visited the site, we saw residents using the existing facilities, but we realized a BlueCross Healthy Place could expand offerings and improve access for community members in need,” said Roy Vaughn, executive director of the BlueCross Foundation. “The project was in development before COVID-19 hit the U.S., but we know a day is coming in Nashville when this updated space will be more important than ever.”
“There’s no doubt this will be the most visible health investment in this community in decades,” added Johari Matthews, executive director of the Northwest Family YMCA. “Children, teens and seniors will be able to engage in outdoor activity in the same space at the same time, which is an essential component in breaking a multi-generational cycle of health disparities in the area.”
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin later this year. BlueCross Healthy Place projects are currently underway in Chattanooga, Kingsport and at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill, Tenn. Two BlueCross Healthy Places opened last year in Memphis and Huntland.
The BlueCross Foundation will accept proposals for 2021 funding during the month of August 2020.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan serving more than 3.5 million members in Tennessee and around the country. The Chattanooga-based company was founded in 1945 and is celebrating its 75th anniversary of bringing peace of mind to its members and local communities. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s news center at bcbstnews.com.