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    Free Diabetes Program in Schuylkill County

     Schuylkill Health is offering a FREE Multi-Week Program geared to help people at risk of becoming diabetic. Schuylkill Health is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a free, lifestyle change program designed to help individuals prevent or delay Type 2 Diabetes. Programs are being offered in Pottsville and Mahanoy City beginningMarch 14 in Mahanoy City and March 16 in Pottsville.
    “Schuylkill Health is fortunate to have two Certified Diabetic Educators,” noted Michelle Bensinger, RN, MSN, Director of Informatics and Education at Schuylkill Health.
    The Diabetic Educators have been trained as lifestyle coaches and will work with participants to learn skills to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress.
    To register, participants are asked to call 570-621-5026.
    People with prediabetes – higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels – are 5 to 15 times more likely to develop type II diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years if they do not take steps to prevent it.
    Research shows that modest behavior changes, such as making better food choices and increasing physical activity, reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people at high-risk for developing this disease. The National Diabetes Prevention Program brings together federal agencies, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, employers, insurers, health care professionals, academia, and other stakeholders to prevent or delay the onset of type II diabetes among people with prediabetes. www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention.
    One in three American adults has pre-diabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater. The Diabetes Prevention Program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type II diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”
    Participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. Schuylkill Health’s groups will meet once a week for 16 weeks, then once a month for 6 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.
    In Mahanoy City, the program will be held in the Mahanoy City Senior Community Center (Monday afternoons) at 138 West Centre Street.  In Pottsville, the program will be held at Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing, Multi Purpose Room (First Floor) on the Campus of Schuylkill Medical Center South Jackson Street (Wednesday evenings).
    The National Diabetes Prevention Program is led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Pennsylvania Department of Health through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.
    People are more likely to have pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes if they:
    • Are 45 years of age or older;
    • Are overweight;
    • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes;
    • Are physically active fewer than three times per week; or
    • Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
    To participate in the education program, please call 570-621-5026
    Schuylkill Health offers a Diabetes Support Group and has also hosted an annual 5K Walk/Run to promote diabetic education and awareness.

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