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Ascension Saint Thomas is partnering with the YMCA of Middle Tennessee to proliferate access to healthcare and wellness offerings for their patrons and staff.

The two faith-based nonprofits jointly announced that local YMCA members, Ascension patients, and employees of both will be able to benefit from their first-in-kind collaboration, per a release. Ascension is set to operate care sites at the YMCA in downtown Nashville and in Brentwood.

The release says the two organizations will not only incorporate healthcare operations into the existing fitness centers but also focus their combined efforts on raising awareness of and access to both sides’ services for their existing patients and members and thereby maximizing customer retention. They also aim to better assess the needs of their community and collaborate on how both corporations can improve their offerings.

"The YMCA is excited to begin working more closely with Ascension Saint Thomas to improve access to medical services in two of our most visited YMCAs," said Chris Tointon, president and CEO, YMCA of Middle Tennessee. "There are obvious benefits of co-locating vital health and wellness services, but this partnership is rooted in shared beliefs that are about much more than convenience.

"We believe better integration of prevention and intervention can ultimately drive better health outcomes in our community."

The board of YMCA of Middle Tennessee also tapped Tointon — an experienced Y executive in Omaha — as its new CEO last summer. He took the helm in August.

This follows an announcement from the YMCA last year of a massive redevelopment plan for its downtown Nashville locale, which also came behind the 2020 announcement that the YMCA would combine its Maryland Farms site with its Concord Road facility to turn the latter into its flagship Brentwood YMCA.

Progress has already begun on the plan announced in August 2020, also known as the “One Brentwood” plan, and the Y already agreed to sell its Maryland Farms property in 2023 to North Carolina-based real estate investor Highwoods Properties.

The Brentwood Family expansion is slated for bigger wellness and group exercise areas as well as renovations to youth spaces, including Y-PLAY — the child care area for infants and children under age six.

The Nashville Y already has 14 wellness centers and offers day camps and resident camps, which are both run on a 300-acre site. It also provides before- and after-school care and a variety of community-based outreach programs for both kids and adults.