Area YMCAs use grant to develop Chronic Disease Departments

YMCAThe Greater Scranton & Wilkes-Barre Family YMCAs recently received a three-year, $125,000 grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation to support the implementation of the nationally recognized Diabetes Prevention Program, as well as the Chronic Disease Programs Departments at both Ys. The Ys are proud to announce the funding has allowed for the hiring of Shadia Lahlou, Senior Director of Chronic Disease Prevention, as well as Chronic Disease Programs Departments at both Ys.

Shadia Lahlou recently completed a Master of Science in Social Work degree at The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Health degree at The University of Texas Health Science Center. Shadia believes that health is a human right for all. She aims to integrate her clinical and macro skills, and social and environmental perspectives to address health disparities and promote health equity. Shadia’s experience spans practice, policy, and research and includes aging adults, childhood chronic illness, nutrition and physical activity, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and mental and behavioral health.

“Health starts in communities – the spaces where we live, work and play throughout our life course,” said Shadia.

“The new Chronic Disease Programs Department is reflective of the YMCA’s partnership with the community to prevent illness and enhance wellness. We are excited to announce that joining the YMCA’s diverse health initiatives is the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes reduce their chances of developing the disease through lifestyle change. I look forward to collaborating with community partners, and individuals and their support networks to foster a healthier community.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a program that helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for developing the disease by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being. The program joins existing Chronic Disease Programs, creating Chronic Disease Programs Departments at each Y in an effort to more efficiently and effectively serve more people. Additional programs include EnhanceFitness, a proven community-based senior fitness and arthritis management program; LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a small-group program that helps adult cancer survivors reclaim their health and well-being following a cancer diagnosis; as well as additional cardiac and wellness initiatives at both facilities.

For more information on Chronic Disease Programming at the Greater Scranton and Wilkes-Barre Family YMCAs, contact Shadia Lahlou at or 570-970-5052. Information can also be found at or