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“I joined the program because my cousin was in it, but then I made new friends. I call other people in the class, and we meet up to go walking and check-in with each other. Now I call everyone in the class my cousin!” – D4P participant Gwendolyn Maderis

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It’s an uncomfortable fact that social determinants surrounding race, ethnicity, and income can often have an impact on health outcomes. That’s why Health Care Access Now (HCAN) and the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati teamed up to offer type 2 pre-diabetes prevention (D4P) to low-income and minority patients. The program leverages the number one predictor of wellness success, social engagement, to empower patients to hold diabetes at bay.

D4P

The Health Collaborative is recognizing the D4P program as a finalist for the Gen-H Award, as part of the 2017 Inspire | Healthcare dinner and awards celebration planned for November 1 at downtown Cincinnati’s Renaissance Hotel. The purpose of the Gen-H Award is to recognize an individual, team, or organization that has demonstrated progress on the Gen-H goal of making the healthier choice also being the easy choice, when it comes to deciding on where to live, work, learn, or play. Gen-H, or “The Health Generation,” means all of us working together to make health and healthcare a value we share in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

 

Cousins and friends
When 62-year-old Gwendolyn Maderis was diagnosed by her doctor as pre-diabetic, she didn’t even know that was a possibility. Her doctor explained she was at high risk for developing full diabetes; however, patients who manage their weight with diet and exercise are often able to avoid this chronic health threat. Gwendolyn was happy to know this was something she could control, but she wasn’t sure what to do.

Not long after her appointment, a community health worker from HCAN came to her door with information about a program at the YMCA just for people with pre-diabetes. With funding from the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, cost would not be a problem. In a happy coincidence, Gwendolyn’s cousin was also signed up for the same program and the two women would be able to attend the same session.

Gwen was surprised by how much she enjoyed coming to the sessions and sharing with the group about how her week had gone, even if the week had been challenging. She was surprised to see her weight drop and found herself changing her eating habits. Gwen’s favorite part of the program was the relationships she had built. “I joined the program because my cousin was in it, but then I made new friends. I call other people in the class, and we meet up to go walking and check-in with each other. Now I call everyone in the class my cousin!”

Evidence-based approach
The YMCA’s program is an evidence-based community health course designed for adults at risk for developing type-two diabetes. Participants meet in small groups facilitated by trained Lifestyle Coaches in 25 on- hour sessions, delivered over the course of 12 months. Peer-reviewed scientific research shows that lifestyle intervention programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58% and by 71% in people over 60. Participants are also give access to YMCA branches through a complimentary six-month membership to support and encourage physical activity. Goals of the program include 5% weight loss and increased physical activity (150 minutes/week).

Results matter
Results for 2016 clients show that more than half (58%) have lost weight in the program, and after nine months, more than eight in ten (86%) reported 90 minutes or more of physical activity each week. On the clinical side, clients enrolled for more than three months showed a consistent decrease in A1c (blood sugar) levels.

This strong and powerful partnership between two organizations, working in coordination with the health care system to engage patients in lifestyle interventions has the power to improve health, lower healthcare costs and advance health equity.

Meet the Team
Health Care Access Now: Judith Warren, CEO
YMCA of Greater Cincinnati: Kathy Lehr, Chief Marketing Officer

Please join The Health Collaborative and its Gen-H staff in congratulating Gen-H award finalist, the D4P program by HCAN and the YMCA, for advancing health equity and creating strong links between clinical care and community resources.

About Inspire | Healthcare:
Inspire | Healthcare is the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region’s premier annual healthcare event and awards celebration. The awards seek to recognize innovations by individuals, teams, and/or organizations in the areas of informatics, quality improvement, and population health. Other awards given annually include the Inspire Champion Award and the Hoxworth Blood Drive Awards, with separate nomination and judging processes. For more information about Inspire | Healthcare, visit healthcollab.org/inspire.

About The Health Collaborative:
The Health Collaborative strives to lead data-driven improvement initiatives that result in healthier people, better care, and smarter spending. Based in Cincinnati, we work with those who provide care, pay for care, and receive care, to find mutual solutions to healthcare’s most challenging problems. For more information about The Health Collaborative, visit healthcollab.org.