Eskenazi Health Teams with National Program to Create Diabetes Prevention Initiative

The National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was created in 2010 to address the increasing burden of prediabetes and type-2 diabetes in the United States. This national effort created partnerships between public and private organizations to offer evidence-based, cost-effective interventions that help prevent type-2 diabetes in communities across the United States. The goal is to promote lifestyle changes to equate to modest weight loss of between five and seven percent, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate or higher physical activity per week and to maintain and advance these goals over a 12-month period, to create long-term, healthy lifestyle habits.

Through its Healthy Me program, Eskenazi Health launched its first DPP group at Eskenazi Health Center Forest Manor in July 2017.  In October 2018, the program received full recognition from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) by meeting requirements including participation, patient weight loss of at least five percent, and 150 minutes of physical activity over one full year. Patients who took part in this program all had pre-diabetic A1c lab results (a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and to monitor how well one manages diabetes to a normal, healthy level), in addition to other criteria. At the time, Eskenazi Health was the first hospital/health system in the city of Indianapolis to receive the honor.

One of the initial success stories from the initial DPP Healthy Me group at Eskenazi Health Center Forest Manor is patient Denise Fugett. Through her dedicated participation in the program, Fugett was able to reduce her body weight and lower her A1c levels. Fugett maintains a healthy weight of 139 lbs., attends healthy lifestyle classes, is physically active on a daily basis and has reduced her meat consumption by consistently choosing more fruits and vegetables.

“The classes I attend taught me how to eat right and exercise, and how to relieve stress,” Fugett said. “Our teacher is great (Shameka Bell, a lifestyle wellness coach with Eskenazi Health). “She’ll talk with you one-on-one and check your weight, your BMI (body mass index) and all of that. I’ve learned how to communicate better with others and we learn how to enjoy ourselves.

“I have a lot of friends in the class and on days when you decide to eat a hamburger, you can call your friends and have a conversation with them and they’ll help you choose the right food to eat, and some of them will go walking with you. I feel lighter, I’m eating better and I’ve learned how to cook more with different vegetables, and I’ve learned that food tastes better without using a whole lot of seasoning. By slimming down a little bit, my knees and hips don’t hurt as much.”

Fugett has benefited in many ways since joining the Healthy Me program, and she proudly recommends it to others.

“I have made many more friends here and every time I see them I give them a hug and ask them how they’re doing, and they give me a hug back,” she said. “We discuss what’s going on in church and in our family life, and overall it’s a great program!”

Eskenazi Health will continue to offer this highly effective DPP Healthy Me initiative at Eskenazi Health Center Forest Manor and the Eskenazi Health Lifestyle Health & Wellness Center. Anyone interested in learning more, or participating, should contact either of those facilities or reach out to them through their primary care physician.

If you are in need of a primary care physician, please call 317.880.7666.

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