HCH Foundation Awards $14,000 to YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program

A $14,000 grant has been given to the Henry County YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program by the Henry County Hospital Foundation to help reduce the incidence of diabetes by focusing on people with prediabetes. National statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes that can lead to diabetes but only 11% know they have it.

“The Foundation considers this one of the most important health programs in our community to help decrease the ever growing incidence of diabetes,” commented Paul Janssen, Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer at Henry Community Health.  “Our 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment showed our community has a high incidence of adults with borderline/prediabetes and diabetes and a higher than expected death rate from diabetes when compared to national statistics,” Janssen continued.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps those at high risk for diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles and reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. The program is based on the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which showed that by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a small amount of weight, a person with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58%.

Chris Williams, Henry County YMCA Chief Executive Officer, stated,  “Through the generous support of the Henry County Hospital Foundation this gift will allow the Henry County YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program to have even a greater impact on our community.  This gift will allow us to reach even more people in our community that qualify for the program regardless of their economic status. “

Participants Improve Health And See Many Benefits

“We have many success stories,” explains Kelsay Smith who heads the program. “Participants that are truly ready to make a lifestyle change see many benefits, not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually,” she continued.

According to Smith some program participants have been able to stop various medications such as blood pressure and cholesterol medications. Weight loss is another goal with most participants losing up to 5-7% of their body weight in the first 16 weeks. “Some participants lose even more,” Smith commented adding “one participant lost 50 pounds in the first 16 weeks by simply tracking food, activity and staying within the fat gram goal.”

Initial 16 Week Program

In a classroom setting, a trained lifestyle coach helps participants change their lifestyle by learning about healthy eating, physical activity and other behavior changes over the course of 16 one-hour sessions. Topics covered include nutrition, getting started with physical activity, overcoming stress, staying motivated, and more. After the initial 16 core sessions, participants meet monthly for up to a year for added support to help maintain your progress.

For more information about the program visit www.henrycountyymca.org. You also can contact Kelsay Smith, Director of Member Relations, at 765-529-3804 or by email at ksmith@henrycountyymca.org.