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Waynesboro and Staunton-Augusta YMCAs to launch LEAN program for diabetes prevention

Waynesboro and Staunton-Augusta YMCAs to launch LEAN program for diabetes prevention


The Waynesboro and Staunton-Augusta YMCAs and Augusta Health are partnering together to offer a Lifelong Essentials for Activities and Nutrition (LEAN) program.

The 12-week program, aimed at diabetes prevention, will focus on fitness and nutrition while offering peer support.

“Ultimately, we’re looking at trying to help our residents get healthier,” said Jeff Fife, the CEO of the Waynesboro Family YMCA.

According to the 2019 Augusta Health Community Health Needs Assessment report, diabetes rates in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County are above the state average. An overall 16.5% of residents have been diagnosed with diabetes and high blood sugar, with the state average being 10.5%.

“It’s showing up far too frequently in this community,” said Josh Cole, executive director of the Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA, in a press release. “The Y needs to be a community leader in combating it.”

The LEAN program promotes healthy living and chronic disease prevention through weight loss. Weekly meetings will include a lecture and group discussion along with a 30-minute fitness activity. Fife said the exercises would be a diversity of movement, including cardio, strength training and bodyweight exercises.

“If you can find a way to move more and eat less, it’s a simple equation to reversing diabetes,” Fife said.

Each participant will also have the chance to participate in a weekly call from a Y Coach. Fife said there’s positive peer support that comes with getting involved in the 12-week program.

Originally, the LEAN program was created by the Virginia Alliance of YMCAs. Fife said it was “pretty powerful” to have the local YMCAs partner with the statewide alliance and Augusta Health to make local citizens healthier.

The 12-week program costs $75 for Y members and $150 for non-members. The Waynesboro program will meet at the Waynesboro YMCA every Tuesday morning from April 13 to June 29 at 10 a.m. The Staunton program will meet at the Staunton-Augusta YMCA every Wednesday evening from April 14 to June 30 at 5:30 p.m.

Those interested in signing up for the LEAN program can do so by contacting Wendy Shutty, the Staunton Augusta YMCA fitness director, at (540) 885-8089 or

“It’s especially for those who may be at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes or folks who already have diabetes now,” Shutty said in a press release. “We encourage anyone to take part in the program, but specifically it’s geared for those who are at risk or already have diabetes.”

Fife recommends individuals looking for a longer commitment or those completing the 12-week program to consider enrolling in the Augusta Health Diabetes Prevention Program, a free year-long program focused on long-term changes and lasting results. Those interested in signing up for the program can contact Kathy Berger, Augusta Health Diabetes Prevention Coordinator, at (540) 941-2537 or

Find more information about each of the programs online at

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