New York State Health Foundation

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Preventing and Managing Diabetes in Community Settings

Ensuring excellent clinical care is essential to reducing the toll of diabetes-related complications on New York State, but equally important are community-based efforts to help people at highest risk to prevent and manage the disease. The Foundation’s Diabetes Campaign is committed to working with community- and faith-based organizations to implement and expand diabetes prevention and management programs where New Yorkers live, work, and worship.

First, the Foundation invested in a faith-based diabetes prevention and management program through a grant to the Institute for Leadership (IFL). This faith-based model is rooted in the Defy Diabetes initiative curriculum, which successfully used parish nurses to provide diabetes education, self-management, and referrals to primary care services for congregants who have diabetes or are at high risk of developing the disease. IFL implemented the training in 29 congregations across New York State and plans to work with 75 additional sites in 2011.

NYSHealth, in partnership with the New York State YMCA Foundation and the State Health Department’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, also invested in the replication of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in YMCAs in 10 regions across the State: Capital District, Binghamton, Buffalo, Long Island, Middletown, Plattsburgh, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse and Watertown (for a full list of participating Ys, click here).

The DPP, which has been found to reduce the risk of diabetes among participating adults by 58%, offers sessions on healthy diets, exercise, and behavioral change in a group environment for community members with pre-diabetes. The model is gaining momentum: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided support for an additional five sites in New York State, and at least one private health plan has begun to reimburse for the program, a key step toward ensuring sustainable funding for this effective community-based prevention program.