To learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), we talked with Cliff Brown, the Health & Wellness Coordinator with the DPP program, about the program and what he loves about it.
Connect4health: What is the Diabetes Prevention Program and what can participants expect to get out of it?
Diabetes Prevention Program: The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a year-long CDC-recognized educational program that provides participants with information about diabetes and healthy lifestyle changes. Topics range from fitness and nutrition to managing and identifying stressors, with an emphasis on well-being and the needs of the participants. While the educational program is the center of the group meetings, it has become a space for community among participants. Many participants connect outside of the meetings to walk together and share resources such as healthy recipes and coupons for produce at local stores.
DPP begins group cohorts during the summer and requires a year-long commitment. For the first 16 weeks of the program, the groups meet weekly and transition to monthly meetings for the remainder of the year. DPP caters to participant schedules and often offers two group meeting options during weekday evenings. The program is currently offered in a virtual format but could be subject to change in the future.
C4H: What types of tools does DPP equip participants with?
DPP: DPP offers participants additional tools for success while in the program, including exercise supplies such as pedometers to track walking, resistance bands, and a fitness journal. In addition, participants receive a scale to track weight changes and a healthy food box with four weeks worth of produce. Due to the meetings being virtual, the program also connects eligible participants to free technology based on their needs.
C4H: What information is important to provide to DPP if providers are making a referral? What is important for providers to mention about DPP when talking with patients about the organization?
DPP: Individuals must meet certain criteria to be eligible to participate in the program. Participants need to be prediabetic with an A1C between 5.7-6.4% and they cannot currently be medicated to lower their A1C. Providers should keep these eligibility requirements in mind when making a referral to the program. To make a referral, please do so on the Connect4Health/HFP-Partners platform or via email at email@example.com.
It’s important for providers to inform patients that the program is a year-long commitment. When discussing DPP, providers should also consider that it is a supplement to care and participants often still need provider-based support in managing their health during the year.
C4H: Why are you passionate about DPP and the work the program does to increase healthy lifestyles for participants?
DPP: I am passionate about finding ways to engage participants. Specifically, the need to provide educational health information in a way that is fun, encouraging, and meets individuals where they are at in their fitness journey. Oftentimes, health information is hard to digest and people can be discouraged by difficult or drastic changes in diet or lifestyle.
To help with this, the DPP program collaborates with participants to find where they are able to make manageable adjustments for their health. I continue to be a resource for participants, even after they complete the program. The new DPP Program Alumni group has begun for the first time this year, and is offered to participants that have finished the DPP program, but still have a desire for additional support and education afterward.
DPP enrollment is ongoing, to get connected with the DPP program please email firstname.lastname@example.org.