One in three Americans is pre-diabetic, which translates to more than 110,000,000 individuals affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 90% of those individuals are unaware that they’re pre-diabetic.
With funding from the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), AHI partnered with Adirondack Health, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, UVM Health Network – CVPH and Washington County Public Health to expand the reach of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP).
“This is a largely preventable disease,” said AHI’s Director of Health System Transformation, Bob Cawley. “The NDPP focuses on individuals who are identified as pre-diabetics, which amounts to a set of risk factors. These factors, including obesity, family history of diabetes, low level of physical activity, and age are associated with developing diabetes.
“Alarmingly, pre-diabetics are five to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The CDC estimates the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes more than tripled from 5.6 million to 20.9 million between 1980 and 2011,” continued Cawley.
While the focus of the program is on improving the lives of individuals, evidence shows health care expenses are 2.3 times higher for people with diabetes, making programs such as NDPP a worthwhile consideration for businesses. The CDC indicates that the number of diabetes deaths is increasing and the number of hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease, diseases of the heart, and coronary heart disease have increased corresponding directly to the obesity epidemic.
The UVM Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) signed on to NDPP in 2013. “We know this is a serious health concern in our CVPH service area. Our 2013 Community Service Plan identified diabetes prevention as a top priority. The plan cites the region’s high prevalence of obesity, low access to healthy foods, and limited access to opportunities for physical activity as the key drivers behind the region’s chronic disease problem,” said Michelle LeBeau, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer of The UVM Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital. “We launched the program for our employees, but our greater community is welcome to join our program or start their own onsite.”
When CVPH introduced the program, registered nurse Greg Freeman not only enthusiastically signed on, but volunteered to serve as CVPH’s NDPP director. He followed NDPP recommendations, resulting in a personal weight loss of 81 pounds.
“We all know it’s hard to make changes that result in weight loss, such as better eating and/or exercise habits. Getting down to the root of what an individual’s personal barriers are is uplifting; a process that allows participants to recognize that there are others who know and share their struggles,” said Freeman. “NDPP has a focus on problem-solving and coping skills which is really different from other programs.”
For more information:
- Join an existing NDPP program: Adirondack Health, HHHN, UVM Health Network – CVPH, Washington County Public Health.
- Implement an on-site NDPP: visit the Center for Excellence in Aging and Community Wellness for Program and Lifestyle Coach training and resources.
- Watch the AHI NDPP video which features interviews with a lifestyle coach and program participants.
- Read Greg’s story – In an interview with AHI’s Evaluations Manager, Anne-Marie FitzGerald, Greg Freeman shares why he was successful with the NDPP program.
“We encourage employers to share Greg’s story with their staff and learn more about the National Diabetes Prevention Program and program resources at AMHI’s National Diabetes Prevention Program web page.” said Cawley.