Nearly 30 million American are living with Type 2 Diabetes, and 89 million more Americans are considered prediabetic. This equates to 1 in 3 Americans with prediabetes, which if left untreated will lead to Type 2 Diabetes within 3-5 years. The National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is a proven Lifestyle Change Program, developed by the CDC and taught in the community by trained non-clinical instructors called a Lifestyle Coaches. The NDPP recognizes that a 5-7% weight loss combined with 150 minutes of weekly exercise can reduce a person’s risk by up to 58%. The P² Collaborative of Western New York received funding from the New York State Department of Health for the Local Initiatives for Multi-Sector Public Health Action (Local IMPACT) to promote and help develop Diabetes Prevention Programs across 8 counties.
The Neighborhood Health Center provides comprehensive health services to the medically underserved population in Niagara Falls’ inner city. This population is known to be at a greater risk for diabetes and comorbid conditions, and is also overutilizing the Emergency Departments at local hospitals. In addition, this population provides challenges with medication adherence and diet/exercise recommendations. Leadership from the Health Center agreed to host a NDPP with a start date of April 28th, and set a goal of enrolling 10 patients from a registry created by their EHR. The enrollees will meet weekly for 16 one-hour sessions and then monthly for an additional 8 one-hour sessions delivered by the Niagara County Department of Health. The Niagara County Department of Health is providing the NDPP to the patients of the Neighborhood Health Center with no charge to participants, having their staff time supported by Local IMPACT. The Catholic Health System Foundation, Mount St. Mary’s Philanthropic entity, provided incentives including a healthy lunch for each session, gift cards for each participant per session, and a Fitbit raffle at the end of the program. Additional marketing support was offered by the P2 Collaborative of Western New York through academic detailing within the community.
The Neighborhood Health Center surpassed their enrollment goal, and registered 15 people for the program. Through the 10th week of the program, 13 of the original participants have remained with the program, making it the largest class the Niagara County Department of Health has held in this community. The participants are meeting weekly and are accountable for maintaining a daily food tracking journal, reporting their exercise minutes weekly, learning about new habits, coping strategies, label reading, and better decision-making regarding what qualifies as healthy foods and snacks. The Niagara County Department of Health is tracking attendance, exercise minutes, and does weekly weigh-ins. At the 10-week mark, one participant has lost 30 pounds. The providers of the Health Center have become aware of the program’s successes and the ease of facilitating within their own location, and plan to continue offering the program to their patient population. Mount St. Mary’s is a part of the Catholic Health System, a hospital and integrated delivery system that as a result of the canvassing of P², has trained 3 of their staff as Lifestyle Coaches to provide NDPP within their system in the future.