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North Carolina YMCAs Offer Program to Help Prevent Diabetes

[Raleigh, N.C., October 31, 2022]–November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a time for all North Carolina residents to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. More than 96 million adults in America have prediabetes, while eight in 10 people don’t know they have prediabetes. What’s more, in North Carolina, 166 adults develop diabetes each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Taking this short CDC Prediabetes Test can help North Carolinians understand their risk. While there is no cure for diabetes, prediabetes can be reversed. 

The YMCA offers its Diabetes Prevention Program to help people with prediabetes lose weight, increase their physical activity, and eat healthier through this CDC-approved curriculum and a supportive, small group led by trained YMCA staff. The program helps people potentially prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. 

The Y offers its Diabetes Prevention Program in a virtual format statewide and in person at some North Carolina YMCAs to anyone who meets eligibility requirements. Most NC residents are eligible to participate in the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program for free through 2023, and members of Medicaid insurers Carolina Complete Health and WellCare who qualify can participate in the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program for free.

“When people find out they are at risk for diabetes, it can be hard for them to know how to make changes to improve their health,” said Angela Rogers, Community Integrated Health Consultant for the NC Alliance of YMCAs. “The Y’s program provides a supportive environment, easy to understand lessons, and consistency to help people reduce their risk for developing diabetes and other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Our participants form a bond with each other that helps them stay on track and helps them celebrate wins along the way on their path to better health.”

Rogers also said that because the Y offers the Diabetes Prevention Program virtually, anyone can benefit from the Y’s program, regardless of where they live. “When COVID-19 shut down YMCAs in 2020, we were determined to continue to support the people who were in the middle of the program already,” Rogers said. “Our Ys successfully launched the Diabetes Prevention Program in a virtual format, and we continue to offer it virtually today, as well as in person at some North Carolina Ys, so that we can serve all North Carolinians.”

Rogers noted that the Y offers additional evidence-based health programs, such as the Y’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program and Healthy Weight and Your Child, and that some NC Medicaid insurers cover the cost of these programs for members who qualify. “The Y is proud to serve as a community health partner to Medicaid insurers and medical providers. Helping people achieve and maintain good health is embedded in our mission; together we are helping our entire state become healthier” Rogers said.

Lifestyle Changes That Work

“My experience with the Diabetes Prevention Program has been a life-changing journey. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that my health is in my own hands,” according to a Y Diabetes Prevention Program participant in Wilmington, N.C. “I was able to develop better eating habits, and increasing my exercise made all the difference. I am proud to say I have the kept the weight off these past two years and my A1C is now down to 5.4 from 5.9. Without the program, I would not be as healthy as I am.” 

For information about the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and other YMCA proven health programs, visit www.ncymcas.org/programs.

About the YMCA and the NC Alliance of YMCAs

The YMCA is a leading nonprofit that collectively serves one million people statewide, including children, adults and seniors, through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across communities. 

The North Carolina Alliance of YMCAs is a nonprofit corporation representing the 24 independent YMCA associations in the state. Its purpose is to build the capacity of all the state’s YMCAs, foster collaboration on statewide initiatives through effective partnerships, advocate on behalf of the YMCA’s mission and cause with elected officials and stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels; and coordinate communication to build consensus that ensures YMCAs are recognized as leaders in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. For more information, please visit ncymcas.org.

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