The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for developing the disease by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-led evidence-based program is delivered over a 12 month period in a supportive small group classroom setting. Sixteen weekly one-hour sessions are followed by eight monthly sessions. Facilitated by trained lifestyle coaches Steve and Susan Fortier of Meeting Waters YMCA, the class is scheduled to begin February 6 and will be held at the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.

Through a partnership with the Greater Burlington YMCA and Vermont Blueprint for Health (Department of Vermont health Access) this program is being offered to Vermonters free of charge.

“Providing support and opportunities that empower people to be healthy and live well is part of the YMCA’s charitable purpose,” said Meeting Waters YMCA Executive Director, Steve Fortier, also one of the program’s co-facilitators. “The lifestyle choices learned through the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program not only reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, but also create lifelong changes in the way that individuals approach health and well-being.”

“The Vermont Department of Health estimates 25 to 30 percent of Vermont adults have prediabetes,” according to Wendy Cornwell, BMH’s Director of Community Initiatives and its Blueprint for Health project. “Most people with prediabetes are not aware of their condition. If left untreated, 75 percent of those with prediabetes will develop diabetes within 10 years.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is based on the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in collaboration with CDC, which showed that lifestyle changes and modest weight reduction can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent among those with prediabetes.

In order to qualify for the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, participants must be at least 18 years old, overweight ( BMI≥ 25) and at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes or have been diagnosed with prediabetes.

For more information or to speak with the intake specialist, contact the BMH Community Health Team by calling 802-257-8877.