The Granite YMCA Sets the Standard Nationally for Community Based Diabetes Education
Manchester, NH: In January 2022, The Granite YMCA became the first community-based YMCA in the nation to be accredited by the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) as a Diabetes Educator. In addition, and for the second consecutive year, The Granite YMCA is recognized as a Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Provider (MDPP) by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For Granite Staters, this means they can access and participate in in the YMCA’s “gold standard” diabetes education and prevention programs and have it paid for by insurance.
“The Granite YMCA is leading the nation in how we impact the health of our community by being a supplier for DPP/MDPP and recently accredited for DMES. This is vital work within NH as the YMCA can connect people to programs, resources, activities, lifestyle, and behavior changes. This type of work is a model for how YMCAs across the country can become an extension of the healthcare system and has the ability to improve the health of our communities in significant ways,” said Dr. Gloria Winters, Chief Medical Officer, YMCA Managed Service Organization.
According to the 2020 New Hampshire Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey, 8.8% (or 100,000) of New Hampshire adults aged 18 and older have been told by a health professional that they had diabetes. New Hampshire BRFSS statistics also show adults diagnosed with prediabetes is also on the rise, up from 6.0% in 2011 to 10.3% in 2020. “In New Hampshire, among adults 18-44 years of age, the prevalence of diabetes is increasing by 4.4% each year,” explained Mike Laviolette, Chronic Disease Epidemiologist. The CDC estimates that one-third of adults have prediabetes, putting them at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
“We know that hospitals and healthcare systems are doing great work in this area, but there is more work to be done, so partnering as a community source for diabetes education and prevention has been among our highest priorities, explained Michele Sheppard, President & CEO, The Granite YMCA. “Cindy Lafond, our Executive Director of Health Interventions and her team have been focused on access, programming, measurable goals, and outcomes, and their dedication over many years has led to us now being a national example to all YMCAs as to how to achieve the highest standards in diabetes education and prevention for the benefit of the community we serve,” added Sheppard.
The process for being recognized as a Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Provider and then being accredited by the ADA started in 2020. “We initiated our program by adopting the curriculum developed by the CDC. As we achieved success with our participants, we added new strategies and goals. One of those was removing the cost barrier by being recognized by Medicare for reimbursement. When we achieved that goal last year, we knew we had to strive for accreditation so that the people of New Hampshire could rest-assured that they have the very best in diabetes education. It is extremely rewarding to have been asked to present our work and model at the ADA conference last July as the first accredited YMCA in the nation,” said, Cindy Lafond, Executive Director of Health Interventions.
“We are so pleased to be partnering with the Granite YMCA on diabetes & heart disease prevention and management efforts. As the first YMCA in the nation to offer an accredited diabetes education program, we couldn’t be prouder. The Granite YMCA is increasing access to evidence-based programs for populations that need them the most, said Whitney Hammond, MSW, MPH, Chronic Disease Director, New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services. Participating in The Granite YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program has been proven to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58-71%. The year-long program consists of 16 weekly sessions and 3 sessions every other week during the first 6 months followed by monthly sessions in the second 6 months.
The Granite YMCA offers in-person programs in Goffstown, Manchester, Portsmouth, Rochester, Londonderry, Concord and Exeter, as well as a virtual option to all New Hampshire residents who cannot make it to an in-person location either due to distance or preference. A YMCA membership is not required to participate.
About The Granite YMCA
As one of the state’s longest standing and most enduring non-profits, The Granite YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, and family strengthening. Across the state, its six branches engage 30,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to improve their health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2020, The Granite YMCA provided financial assistance and free services valued at just over $1 million to 5,144 individuals. To learn more, please visit www.graniteymca.org.