Through the years, we’ve worked with exceptional individuals who understand local challenges facing their communities, and have the passion and the vision to create opportunities where people can make healthy choices where they live, work, learn, play and pray. We’re recognizing these individuals, who have been nominated by their peers and colleagues, to showcase their commitment to making the healthy choice, the easy choice.
Throughout the country, YMCAs play an important role in providing safe physical activity opportunities to communities. Like many YMCAs, the Summerville Family YMCA also plays an active role in advocating for community health improvement and implementing programs that engage residents in making healthy lifestyles changes. Enter Amanda Metzger, director of community health at the Summerville Family YMCA.
“My role with the Y allows me to work collaboratively with local and state partners to advance healthy eating and active living efforts,” says Amanda. “There are so many amazing public health advocates in our state, and these efforts can’t be done with one person or one organization. I feel very blessed to have a job that I absolutely love where I get to changes people’s lives every day.”
At the YMCA, Amanda is responsible for developing and overseeing their evidenced-based programs that impact community health and healthy lifestyles. The YMCA’s programs are: Diabetes Prevention Program (aimed at adults at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes), LIVESTRONG at the YMCA (physical fitness for adult cancer survivors), Moving for Better Balance (fall prevention), Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring (aimed at adults with hypertension), and Enhance Fitness (arthritis management).
In addition to program implementation and multiple YMCA responsibilities, Amanda finds time to advocate for healthy change by working with partners. She serves on the Trident United Way Guiding Team for Health, South Carolina Diabetes Action Council, the local Diabetes Coalition, the Obesity, Nutrition, Physical Activity Committee for the Tri-county health improvement plan, and she serves as chair of Eat Smart Move More Charleston Tri-County (ESMMCTC).
“I think that often in the public health arena, we are all doing so many great things, but that we tend to work in silos. My involvement with ESMMCTC has allowed me to see the overlap in community-based health efforts and I have truly enjoyed helping to coordinate and synergize with organizations across a variety of sectors in our area,” says Amanda.
In addition to her busy career and community health work, Amanda is a mom of two young kids and sees the impact she can have on them and other children. She says, “As a mom of two young kids, it is extremely important to me to set a good example for the future generation and help them create healthy habits that will last a lifetime.”