Diabetes Prevention Programs

Diabetes Prevention Programs


Because of the concern with increasing numbers of people with pre-diabetes, the VCDPE has become involved in piloting the development and coordination of diabetes prevention programs, particularly in underserved and rural areas of the state.  The programs employ design elements from two large national randomized control trials: the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and the Look AHEAD study.

Pilot Tele-health Prevention Program

In 2009, we coordinated a diabetes tele-health prevention program in three sites (a family practice office, a health department, and a free clinic) in the Southwest and Northern Neck areas of the state.  The primary goal of the project was to reduce risk factors for pre-diabetes and diabetes among persons at risk in rural areas of Virginia.  A sub-goal was to test the feasibility of using telehealth technology to deliver the initial portion of the educational component of the program and to use a train-the-trainer model to provide on-site group facilitation and support for behavior change.

Southwestern Virginia Diabetes Prevention Program

K-VA-T Group
Southwest Virginia DPP faculty and trainers. From left,
Jessica Gourley, Lori Hamilton, Anita Givens, Joyce Green Pastors, Terry Saunders, Jennifer Johnson.

In 2011, the VCDPE partnered with K-VA-T Inc. (Food City) and the Harry L. Coomes Recreation Center to develop a year-long diabetes prevention program for K-VA-T employees diagnosed with pre-diabetes. K-VA-T and the Coomes Recreation Center are supporting the program by providing staff (a nurse, two dietitians, and an exercise physiologist) to teach and coach the participants.

The VCDPE faculty provided the program staff at Coomes Recreation Center and K-VA-T with two days of on-site training and an educational curriculum, “Eat Smart, Get Active”, which includes lesson plans and educational handouts in the areas of eating, physical activity, and stress management). The VCDPE also provided a) tracking and goal-setting forms to be used in a personal journal for participants, b) training in counseling and communication techniques for working with participants, c) a computer spreadsheet for tracking behavioral and clinical outcome measures, and d) ongoing consultation.

Workplace Wellness and Diabetes Prevention Programs

A survey of 361 Chicago area employers conducted in September 2011 by Aon Hewitt in partnership with Rush Health showed that workplace health improvement and wellness programs are becoming the rule rather than the exception.

The wellness survey showed that employers target lifestyle habits to improve the health of employees,” said Brent Estes, president and CEO, Rush Health. ‘Keeping people healthy isn’t merely a booming trend; it’s a necessary part of life.’…

A total of 81% of employers target lifestyle habits that focus on physical activity, tobacco use and weight management programs. Of the organizations that focus programs on specific conditions, diabetes was most popular at 72%; followed by high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. Only 5% of employers were found to not target at least one lifestyle habit versus 19% of employers who do not target any specific health conditions.

The survey also found that employers have begun to reward participants for following up with primary care physicians to address screening results. Two out of five employers offer incentives for participation and completion of lifestyle modification programs such as weight loss or quitting smoking.”

Rush News Room News Releases, March 22, 2012

Our plan is to continue to develop and implement diabetes prevention programs based on community-employer partnerships throughout southwest and other high-risk areas of Virginia. Such programs have the potential to reduce not only the prevalence of diabetes, but other chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer as well, through the adoption of healthier lifestyles. If you have an interest in developing this type of program, please contact us to discuss the specifics of what we can offer.