“Kaylan from the Y” Talks About Wellness

The Tillamook County Wellness “Why I’m In” interview series highlights our community partners and what has inspired and motivated them to work toward the common goal of improving community health.
“WHY I’M IN …” an interview with Kaylan Sisco, CEO & Executive Director, Tillamook County Family YMCA
What drew you/your organization into the Year of Wellness, now Tillamook County Wellness?

The fact that this effort is community-wide and shares the same mission as the Tillamook YMCA is what attracted me to the effort. The impacts we seek in improving community health are the same for the Y as they are for Tillamook County Wellness. It just seemed like a very symbiotic relationship.

What, if any, changes have you seen come about as a result of this work?
The overall attitude people seem to have around community health has changed. People are demonstrating greater self-efficacy, taking their own wellness into their own hands. I feel like more people are seeking out options and voicing their expectations about what they think should exist. I think that’s great.
What have you learned from being involved in this work?
I’ve learned first and foremost that you cannot stop people in Tillamook County from doing what they are passionate about. The best thing you can do is to tell someone from Tillamook, “no,” because they’ll set about to prove you wrong. The boldness, empowerment and pride the people in this community have for themselves and their fellow community members is impressive.
What are your hopes for this work as it relates to you/your organization?
As it relates to the Y, I hope that people have a better understanding of how deeply involved and interwoven the Y is in this community. Not just within the walls of our facility but outside of it as well. Tillamook County Wellness is just one of many partnerships we are engaged in. I hope that people see how supportive the Y is of many valuable efforts. We are really trying to be a true community center and support for what matters to people.
What are your hopes for this work as it relates to changing population health in Tillamook County?
I want people to be happy! I truly believe that when someone finds something that makes them happy, they will work harder to duplicate that behavior. If we can make being healthy something that makes people happy, they are more likely to adopt it into their lifestyle. If we, as a movement, as friends, families, co-workers, and fellow community members can make what we do easy, accessible, and fun, then that will determine what our health looks like going forward.
If you’re happy and you’re social and you move, you’ll live a longer, happier life. Even with an extreme health diagnosis, if you engage in those three things, you are likely to live a longer, higher-quality life. If we can get to that point, I think we could see a huge shift in healthcare.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about the Y’s involvement in Tillamook County Wellness?
I am pleased and honored that the Y was asked to be part of Tillamook County Wellness and I appreciate that people view the Y as an asset and a driver for community health and livability. Something a lot of people don’t realize is the fact that we sacrifice a lot of our budget to offer free programs for populations that need it. I am especially grateful for the partners and advocates we have out in the community who help us tell our story and connect people to us as a resource.

For more local health and wellness information, visit tillamookcountyhealthmatters.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.