The Diabetes Prevention Program- making a difference in our community

by Emily Robertson

Emily Robertson is the Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator at Mesa County Public Health. Emily graduated with her degree in Dietetics & Nutrition and found her passion working in community health. Some of her favorite activities include knitting, running, and exploring Colorado!

The number of those affected by type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. It is becoming increasingly important to let our community know that type 2 diabetes is preventable, and in many cases, reversible.   In 2015, Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) brought a National Diabetes Prevention Program to our community to improve the health of our residents.  As the Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator for MCPH, I have been able to see the impact this program has had in our community first-hand.

Over the past year, I have watched a group of dedicated health professionals work together to improve the lives of others. Primary care providers, employers, community organizations, and healthcare organizations across the County are collaborating to offer more preventative services for residents aiming to improve their health. This is why I went into public health. Through these efforts, I believe we have raised type 2 diabetes awareness and have provided invaluable information concerning its prevention.

Research shows that the Diabetes Prevention Program, which focuses on lifestyle changes, can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes in half. Lisa McGinnett, a Lifestyle Coach, leading a class at St. Mary’s Life Center, has been instructing participants for nearly a year. Lisa shares the following regarding the pending completion of her year-long class.

“As we are coming to the end of our group time, it is a little sad because the participants (and myself) have found encouragement to continue unlike any other we have experienced before.  This program goes beyond educational. It meets the people where they are in regards to their diagnosis of prediabetes.”

There are ten active classes with four more classes starting within the next few months. More than 100 committed participants are working together to make positive changes to their lives and are supporting one another on their path towards better health.

If you are Interested in learning more about The National Diabetes Prevention Program: PreventT2, contact Emily Robertson at (970) 683-6614. To learn more about type 2 diabetes and to see if you are at risk, click here.

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