HFP launches new diabetes prevention initiative

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Health Federation of Philadelphia creates a central resource to connect Philadelphia residents with Diabetes Prevention Programs

Philadelphia, PA — The Health Federation of Philadelphia (HFP) launched a new initiative to connect prediabetic residents to Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPP).

One in three adults has prediabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Individuals with prediabetes are at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and life-threatening conditions such as heart attack and kidney failure.  Studies have shown DPP programs can significantly reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.  Among adults 59 years old and younger, participation in a year-long DPP program has been proven to reduce the probability of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 58%.

Philadelphia organizations have responded effectively to this research.  Temple Center for Population Health, Jefferson Center for Urban Health, and Freedom Valley YMCA provide free or reduced price DPP programs for residents and clients on a regular basis.  CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs provide resources and support for patients to build new habits.  Enrollees learn to lower their chances of Type 2 diabetes through healthy eating, managing stress, and adding exercise to daily routines.

“The CDC-recognized Diabetes Prevention Program is a great resource for prediabetic patients across the city of Philadelphia, said Holly Hainsworth, Health Federation of Philadelphia Project Manager.  ”Making the key lifestyle changes promoted through the program can help prediabetics prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke.“

HFP’s program will connect prediabetic residents to DPP programs by providing multiple points of entry and referral assistance.  HFP created a webpage, dedicated telephone line, and email address for interested parties to call.  A Community Engagement Specialist, tasked with monitoring requests from these sources, will help residents overcome barriers to enrollment, streamline enrollment processes, and resolve challenges to program retention.

”It is our hope that having access to comprehensive and user-friendly information via the web, e-mail or telephone, will help interested and eligible Philadelphians better utilize this program,“ continued Hainsworth.  ”They can reach out to our Community Engagement Specialist in the way that is easiest for them to get general information about the program, find out what classes are available in their community, and get assistance with registering for the program.“

For more information on prediabetes and CDC-recognized Diabetes Prevention Programs in Philadelphia, view the Diabetes Prevention Program page on HFP’s website.  With a focus on hypertension, diabetes, and prediabetes, this program engages Philadelphia Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in evidence-based best practices.  Structured as a learning collaborative, over 160,000 patients have benefited from this program.  This project is supported by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.