A new program at St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) aims to advance diabetes awareness and prevention, and help at-risk individuals decrease their likelihood of developing the disease.
The program is funded by a $1.422 million, multi-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grant was awarded to Trinity Health, one of the largest health care systems in the nation. SPHP is a member of Trinity Health, and was selected as one of five sub-recipients of the grant for New York state.
The funding will help the Diabetes Education Program at St. Peter’s Diabetes and Endocrine Care expand its PreventT2 program. The free, 16-week program focuses on key lifestyle changes including weight loss, increasing physical activity and managing stress, all aimed at reducing a person’s diabetes risk.
An estimated 84 million Americans have prediabetes, and most of them do not know it. Having prediabetes means your blood glucose level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If untreated, it can develop into Type 2 diabetes within five years. That can lead to health issues such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, or kidney failure.
The PreventT2 program, which began in March across SPHP facilities in Rensselaer County, has already enrolled 58 participants. The goal is to enroll 100 patients with prediabetes every year, particularly men and beneficiaries of Medicare.
Lynn Sutton, RD, CDE, supervisor of the Diabetes Education Program at St. Peter’s Diabetes and Endocrine Care, says the program offers a proven approach to help patients with prediabetes make lasting changes.
“This is an opportunity for them to prevent diabetes. If it’s caught at this stage, they can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes,” Sutton said. “For someone in their 60s, preventing diabetes for 20 years can make a significant difference in their overall health.”
Thanks to the CDC grant, SPHP plans to expand the PreventT2 program in the coming months to both Columbia and Schoharie Counties.
Physicians are encouraged to refer patients with pre-diabetes to the program through athena, although patients can self-refer as well.