Valley Health offering free 12-month National Diabetes Prevention Program

Health News is sponsored by:

Diabetes

~ Press release issued by Valley Health

WINCHESTER — Valley Health is offering new sessions of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a free, 12-month class designed to help adults who are at risk for developing diabetes and are ready to make lasting lifestyle changes. One group will meet virtually on Mondays from noon to 1 p.m. beginning Oct. 18, the other will meet in-person at Warren Memorial Hospital on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., beginning Oct. 27.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, an estimated 13 percent of all U.S. adults have diabetes, and 34.5 percent meet criteria for prediabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and new cases of blindness among adults in the U.S. It is also associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and was estimated to be the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2017.

“Our certified diabetes educators are dedicated to helping individuals with diabetes successfully manage their disease, and we are equally passionate about helping those at risk understand and reverse the trajectory of lifestyle factors that can lead to Type 2 diabetes,” said Beth Herriott, BS, RN, CDCES, Valley Health Diabetes Management Program.

To be eligible for the National Diabetes Prevention Program, individuals must be overweight, not have a
diabetes diagnosis, and have one or more of the following:

• Elevated blood sugar levels
• High blood pressure
• Family history of diabetes
• Physically inactive
• History of gestational diabetes

The National Diabetes Prevention Program is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is built on the premise that small steps to become more active, eat more mindfully, and lose a small amount of weight can go a long way to keeping diabetes at bay. Valley Health Diabetes Management Program staff are trained to help participants make lasting change during 16 classes in the first six months, followed by monthly classes for the remaining six months. The program includes coaching to help develop skills to lose weight, be more physically active, manage stress and stay motivated.

Frederick County resident Pam Pampe completed the Diabetes Prevention Program in March of 2020, just as COVID-19 ground in-person gatherings to a halt.

“The program was the perfect scenario for me,” Pampe said. “My numbers had gone up, and I had trouble losing weight because I hated dieting and exercising. Now I’m running 5Ks, and am either at the gym or doing a hard trek five days a week. I lost 17 pounds and I’m keeping it off. I love how I feel and how I look.”

Pampe credits the expertise of the instructors and the support of others in the group with helping her gradually make lifelong healthy changes.

“We had a mixed group, including some folks who had difficulty walking any distance at all,” Pampe said. “They were candid about their struggles and by year’s end, we had all really made a difference in our lives.”  

“While we would prefer the dynamic of in-person group meetings, we are committed to making the virtual sessions just as informative and interactive,” Herriott said. “And we hope the convenience of logging in, from home or lunchtime at work, makes the program even more accessible to those who are looking for support to make lasting, life-extending changes.”

To learn more, visit www.valleyhealthlink.com/diabetes or call 540-536-5108 for the virtual program or (540) 636-0314 for the in-person program at Warren Memorial Hospital.

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