LEWISTON — YWCA Central Maine is offering a free comprehensive multiple sclerosis wellness program in partnership with St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. The program and partnership is the first of its kind in Maine.

The partnership and pilot idea began as a conversation between YWCA Executive Director Melanie LaMore Gagnon and St. Mary’s Neurologist Dr. Alison Daigle in the summer of 2019 to meet the holistic wellness needs of multiple sclerosis patients in the Lewiston-Auburn community. At the time, there were a few YWCA patrons utilizing the pool for aquatic therapy.

Seeing the benefits of aquatic therapy on MS patrons sparked the idea to strengthen a partnership and seek funding for MS wellness programming.

The pilot program began by way of individual donations and now, with sponsorship, the program consists of weekly aquatic therapy, virtual meditation, virtual chair yoga and virtual seated tai chi. Although the program was designed for women diagnosed with MS, it is inclusive of all patients.

An advisory committee made up of members of the YWCA and St. Mary’s meets regularly to discuss ongoing programming needs and participant feedback to help integrate healthy behaviors into existing MS care and create resources to enhance the overall health and wellness of patients.

For information on current and upcoming programming, visit ywcamaine.org/what-we-do/programsandclasses or email Marielynn Herrera at [email protected] or call 207-795-4050.

For more information on the organization, giving opportunities or volunteer opportunities, visit ywcamaine.org.

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