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Diabetes prevention helped by grant

January 9, 2012

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It would make sense that if you want to lose weight, you get into a program that’s all about shedding pounds.

Judy Belle-Isle had been doing that since her first Weight Watchers experience in eighth grade. Truth be told, she didn’t have much to show for it.

“I’ve been battling with obesity my whole life,” said the 61-year-old associate quality and compliance officer at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

A screening through a university wellness initiative showed an elevated glucose level, and Belle-Isle was invited to join the Diabetes Prevention Program being run by the Center for Community Health at URMC. She lost 30 pounds and survived holiday cookie season with minimal damage.

“This was about nutrition and changing your eating habits,” she said. “It was the right time, the right place, the right information.”

The program replicates a national model that has shown success in research settings. Last month, the Greater Rochester Health Foundation announced a three-year grant for $471,596 to allow the Center for Community Health to bring the Diabetes Prevention Program to 11 primary care practices that serve a large number of inner city or minority patients who are at greater risk for diabetes.

The program is designed for people who are pre-diabetic, which can be detected by a blood test.

“This is one of the real opportunities in medicine to work on someone before the disease occurs,” said Jim Sutton, director of the Office of Community Medicine for Rochester General Health System. The program is about to start at its Clinton Family Health Center site. “This is the direction we should be going in health care.”

The Anthony L. Jordan Health Center, Culver Medical Group, East Ridge Family Medicine, and Unity Health System also are enrolling patients. Other practices will be identified later this year.

“We spend our whole careers chasing diabetics after the person has become diabetic,” Sutton said. “This is an opportunity to prevent it from happening.”

Article source: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20120109/NEWS01/201090323/1007/RSS02


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