News from YMCA in SHC General Manager

Today marks the end of my 3rd week on the job as the new General Manager of the new YMCA in the South Health Campus in southeast Calgary. We are less than 6-weeks away until the opening of our newest YMCA branch in the South Health Campus!

Weight Floor & Running Track

The last few weeks since I started have certainly been a whirlwind of activity, all in preparation for the new facility opening in October – so much to learn, so much to do! Although it’s been just a little busy to say the least, each day, I find myself doing something new, learning more and more about YMCA and all the amazing programs we have to offer across the Association, as well as feel a growing sense of excitement in anticipation of opening our new South Health Campus location.

I am absolutely thrilled at the opportunity that this facility has to offer being the first in Canada to be situated within an actual hospital. YMCA’s presence as a part of the larger ‘Wellness Centre’ in the South Health Campus creates a very unique opportunity for our members. This YMCA is part of an innovative approach to health and wellness that includes not only YMCA facility and amenities, but also a Wellness Kitchen, Patient and Community Resource Centre and a Knowledge Centre staffed with a full-time librarian from the University of Calgary.

Entrance Desk & Member Services

Over the course of my first few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several meetings with our key partners in the Wellness Centre, and I do have to say what a fantastic experience it has been so far to be helping plan the vision of this centre with such a dynamic team of partners. We’ve had several discussions focused on what exactly this Centre hopes to achieve – what will this Wellness Centre look like in 5-years from now? Who will use it? What are they coming in for? And, how are they involved in leading it’s development?

Overall, the Wellness Centre is hoping to see families, children, patients, staff, physicians and community members accessing the Wellness Centre to not only receive support in accessing wellness programming, services and resources, but to also see them become connected to one another, and most importantly, engaged in helping build a ‘community of wellness’ by acting as a driving force behind wellness activities. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could see patients accessing the site to find resources that will help them reach their wellness goals, who later go onto leading an exercise group which helps other patients do the very same?

Another key focus for me over the past few weeks has been to build the YMCA staff team at South Health Campus – I’m happy to announce that we have now hired our leadership team for the YMCA South Health Campus. Rob Dickson will take on the role of Program Manager and Shannon Lighbown will be our new Member Services Director. Both are joining us from our Shawnessy branch and bring a wealth of knowledge and fantastic ideas. We get to move into our new space September 4th and I already can’t wait for them to start that same day!

More updates to come soon,


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