Free Diabetes Prevention Program Offered at Health Center

Hilltown Community Health Center News

Huntington, MA, September 1, 2016 – An estimated 86 million people in the United States are at risk for developing diabetes and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 89 percent have no idea they are at risk. Hilltown Community Health Center (HCHC) is offering a free program to help support you to reduce your risk. As part of a state-wide effort to help adults improve their health, HCHC is offering a free Diabetes Prevention Program. Offered in partnership with our local YMCAs, this 12-month education and support group is being offered in the Hilltowns.

The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program begins on September 21st at the Hilltown Community Center’s Family Center at 9 Russell Road in Huntington. The free program includes a partial-year membership to your local YMCA for all regular participants. Participants will learn about healthy eating, getting started with physical activity, overcoming stress, staying motivated and other behavior changes, all in a comfortable classroom setting. You do not need to be an HCHC patient to enroll.

The program consists of 16 weekly sessions of one-hour each and then scheduled support sessions over the following 8 months. The goal of the program is for participants to lose 7 percent of their body weight and improve their moderate exercise to 150 minutes per week. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, this is a loss of 14 pounds. Research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that these steps can significantly delay or eliminate your risk of developing Type II diabetes.

The year-long support and the YMCA memberships are free to all participants, a savings of $430 thanks to a grant from the Department of Public Health.

The class will be led by HCHC Community Health Worker Janet Dimock who is a YMCA-trained DPP Lifestyle Coach. “The class is an interactive way for adults to learn new skills and get support from the class leader and from other class members. It is hard to make changes alone and the class provides a support network of people with common goals,” Dimock said. “The CDC-created guidelines help participants create achievable goals and encouragement to make a positive change in their lives.”

If you do not know your risk for developing diabetes, here are some important guidelines:

You are at risk if you: had gestational diabetes, have an A1C over 5.7, a fasting glucose level over 100, have a BMI equal to or over 25 (or 22 for Asian-Americans), have family members with diabetes, are under age 65 and get very little exercise, are over age 45, and at increased risk if over age 65. For example, if you are 5 ft. 5 inches tall and weigh 162 or more your BMI is 25.

The Hilltown Community Health Center is able to offer this series, and the YMCA membership, through a partnership with the Holyoke YMCA and their partners in Northampton and Westfield, the Health Hampshire initiative in addition to the state Department of Public Health. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pre-registration is required. Call Janet Dimock at the Worthington Health Center at 413-238-5511 ext. 149 for more information.