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First CDC-Recognized Diabetes Prevention Program Established in the Bronx by Health People

Organization trains local residents to fight New York City's highest diabetes rate

Released: 23-Sep-2013 5:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Health People
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South Bronx Community-Based Organization to Provide Lifestyle and Prevention Course to
NYC Borough with Highest Diabetes-Related Death Rate

Health People Graduates First Class of Trained Diabetes Prevention Coaches

Newswise — New York, September 23, 2013 – Health People (HP) announced today the launch of its new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recognized Diabetes Prevention Program for Bronx residents to help the borough combat its high diabetes-related death rate – the highest in the city.

Starting this fall, Health People’s Diabetes Prevention Program will hold its first series of year-long, 22-session courses led by 10 HP mentors – local residents who have been trained as CDC-approved “lifestyle coaches.” The year-long courses are designed to educate Bronx residents with high blood sugar (pre-diabetes) diabetes and about healthy eating, exercise, and managing stress in a way that slashes their risk of developing diabetes by almost 60%.

A recent New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene report that found that while the overall number of deaths in New York City (NYC) is declining, diabetes-related deaths are increasing, particularly in the Bronx. According to the report, of the 10 NYC community districts with the highest rates of diabetes-related mortality, five are in the Bronx. By comparison, Brooklyn has four, Manhattan one and Queens and Staten Island none.

“We are excited and honored to be the first organization to bring these much needed health and wellness services to our fellow Bronxites, many of whom are desperate for real help to avoid diabetes,” said Chris Norwood, executive director, Health People. “By using the CDC program along with HP’s own successful longtime approach of peer-to-peer education, we are confident we can reach these folks right in their neighborhoods and help combat the borough’s pervasive diabetes problem.

“Right now, Medicare and Medicaid will pay to have a diabetes patient’s leg amputated, but will not fund prevention programs that educate the patients with high blood sugar to take basic steps to health so that amputation never becomes an issue. Our program will provide this kind of education that is well-studied to slash diabetes and enable people to lead productive lives.”

Health People, founded by Norwood, is a major community health education and support organization in the South Bronx, the nation’s poorest urban Congressional District. Health People has implemented groundbreaking peer education, prevention and health education programs which received international recognition in 2005 when Norwood was one of 1,000 women from around the world chosen for a special Nobel Peace Prize nomination honoring women’s local work.

About the National Diabetes Prevention Program
The National Diabetes Prevention Program teaches participants strategies for incorporating physical activity into daily life and eating healthy. Lifestyle coaches work with participants to identify emotions and situations that can sabotage their success, and the group process encourages participants to share strategies for dealing with challenging situations.

It is based on the Diabetes Prevention Program research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lifestyle program in this study showed that making modest behavior changes, such as improving food choices and increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week, helped participants lose 5% to 7% of their body weight. These lifestyle changes reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% in people at high risk for diabetes. People with prediabetes are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke.

About Health People
Health People is a groundbreaking peer education, prevention and support organization in the South Bronx whose mission is to train and empower residents of communities overwhelmed by chronic disease and AIDS to become leaders and educators in effectively preventing ill health, hospitalization, and unnecessary death.

Established in 1990 as a women’s AIDS prevention and support program, Health People has grown, using its peer-education model, to provide a full range of HIV/AIDS services for men, women and families. It also has conducted community asthma programs, New York’s first diabetes peer-educators program, and a community smoking cessation program. Health People’s Junior Peer program, Kids-Helping-Kids includes teens who are mentors for younger children with sick or missing parents.

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