Two Missoula institutions, Providence St. Patrick Hospital and the Missoula Family YMCA announced on Thursday a three year agreement to grow preventive healthcare options for the Missoula area.

YMCA CEO Brian Steffen said the germ of the partnership began with a lunch meeting with former Providence CEO Jeff Fee where they shared their vision to improve health in Missoula.

"That led to a meeting between the senior executives of the YMCA and the senior executives of Providence Health and Services Western Montana to discuss how we could collaborate together," Steffen said. "Honestly, the list we've put together is over three pages of ideas that we're dreaming on, and the details are still being nailed down about how to affect population health."

Specifically, Steffen said programs are being developed for those with diabetes, cardiac problems or cancer.

"We've also had some unique ideas like how we can help families where they've had a new birth in the family and how St. Pat's and the YMCA can work together, such as providing a free membership for a period of time for the family so they can come to the YMCA, work on health goals and socialization, growing as a family and growing in the community."

Steffen said the 'Y' is looking forward to how St. Pat's can help with a program called 'Splash' for third graders to help them become more confident in the pool  and a program for all sixth graders in Missoula called 'Active 6" where they can come to the 'Y' to learn healthy habits.

More information about Providence Health & Services Western Montana can be found at More information about the Greater Missoula Family YMCA can be found at