All Invited to YMCA Feb 5-12 for First-Ever Gift of Heart Health Week

Keystone First’s Mobile Wellness and Opportunity Center, a clinic on wheels, will visit seven YGBW branches and offer free health screenings, health tips and wellness giveaways to the community during Gift of Heart Health Week, Feb 5 - 12, 2024.

YMCA of Greater Brandywine and Keystone First to Offer Free Heart Health Resources to Chester County

(West Chester, PA) – February is American Heart Month, and the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), Keystone First and Keystone First Community HealthChoices have partnered to offer the Chester County Community its first ever Gift of Heart Health Week - from Monday, February 5 through Monday, February 12. During the week, which will highlight the importance of heart health, all are invited to use the facilities at seven YMCA branches across the county, regardless of having a YGBW membership.*

Additionally, Keystone First's mobile wellness unit will be onsite at one of seven YGBW branches each day from 10 AM - 4 PM, except on Sunday. The Keystone First mobile wellness unit will provide free blood pressure and glucose screenings from 10 AM – 1 PM on a first-come, first-served basis. Representatives from Keystone First will provide wellness giveaways, heart health tips and tours of the vehicle from 1 PM – 4 PM.

Keystone First Community HealthChoices will also offer a seminar about Heart Disease & Stroke twice during the week. Attendance is limited to 30 individuals at each seminar. For dates, times and locations, visit

“We are grateful for the partnership of Keystone First and Keystone First Community HealthChoices as their goals align with ours – to build strong communities by ensuring that all have access to health and wellness,” says Kim Cavallero, VP of Membership for YGBW. “We encourage all in the community to visit the Keystone First van and enjoy free use of Y facilities. Work out in our wellness centers, enjoy our pools, take a group exercise class—or enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee while meeting other members of your community during our Gift of Hearth Health Week!”

Increasing Access to Heart Health
It is easy to take heart health for granted and forget that many members of our Chester County community don’t have access to basic health and wellness tools,” shares Heather W. Wilson, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer for YGBW. “We’re happy to open our doors to the community during Gift of Heart Health Week – and even more excited that Keystone First and Keystone First Community HealthChoices will be providing free health screenings and resources to all. These are vital services that all deserve access to.”

Keystone First’s Mobile Wellness and Opportunity Center is a clinic on wheels, offering community health screenings, programs and more. The goal of the mobile health unit is to deliver education, nutrition and preventive health services to communities that need it most – all at no cost to the consumer.

“Increasing access to health and wellness services is a top priority of YGBW,” comments President and CEO, Bertram L. Lawson II. “And even with access to resources, getting healthy can still be a challenge.”

"I have access to wellness experts, fitness equipment, top-notch healthcare providers and healthy foods, yet forming healthy habits is challenging for me,” Lawson explains. “I recently kicked off my own wellness journey and have vowed to stay the course - despite the demands of my work calendar, commitments to my family and the psychological barriers to getting healthy. You’ll see me in line at the Keystone First van on February 5 to get my blood pressure checked. I hope you’ll join me.”

Importance of Heart Health
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports heart disease and stroke as leading causes of death in our country, citing hypertension, or high blood pressure, as a major contributing factor. The American Heart Association recently found that blood pressure has worsened in adults, making it increasingly important to get a blood pressure screening and focus on becoming heart healthy.

To help you focus on heart health, YGBW has compiled a few heart health tips.

1.Get Moving: Being physically active every day can improve the function of your heart. No matter your interest or abilities, there are opportunities to incorporate movement throughout your day.

2. Rest up: Lack of sleep can be associated with elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. Develop bedtime routines to assist with falling asleep faster and staying asleep.

3. Revamp your Recipes: Revising your favorite recipes to reduce the amount of salt and saturated fat can contribute to heart health. Try substituting a lower fat food to avoid sacrificing the taste. When looking for substitutions, be sure to read nutritional labels, selecting foods with less than 1,000 mg of sodium per serving.

4. Check your Pressure: Per the American Heart Association, nearly half of all Americans (46 percent) have high blood pressure. Lowering or maintaining normal blood pressure can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.

5. Increase Quality Time: Spending time with loved ones helps to reduce stress, which is important to heart health. Check out our tips for increasing quality time throughout the year.

*Bring a valid photo ID if you do not have a YGBW membership. YMCA Pickleball Center at Downingtown is not able to accept those who are not members at this time, unfortunately.

About Gift of Heart Health:
About the Keystone First Mobile Wellness Center:
About Starting a Wellness Journey:
About Keystone First Community HealthChoices:

About the YMCA of Greater Brandywine
The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), an association of nine YMCAs and Program Centers serving Chester County, is a leading non-profit organization committed to building community. We strive to nurture the potential of every child, promote healthy living and foster social responsibility through life-changing programs for all. YGBW raises funds to provide financial assistance to those unable to pay the standard rates. In 2023, $2.2 million was provided to more than 11,000 individuals to ensure they had access to childcare, summer camp, programs and memberships at YGBW. More than 60,000 people are members of YGBW. To learn more, visit 

About Keystone First
Keystone First is a Medical Assistance (Medicaid) managed care health product offered by Vista Health Plan, Inc., an affiliate of Independence Blue Cross, in five southeastern Pennsylvania counties. Here at Keystone First, we are mission-driven and dedicated to helping members get care, stay well and build healthy communities. For more information, visit

Category: Press