UnitedHealthcare Holds Community Forum to Launch Evidence-Based Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs in Denver

UnitedHealthcare Holds Community Forum to Launch Evidence-Based Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs in Denver

  • National Diabetes Prevention Program delivered by local YMCAs, The Center for African American Health and American Diabetes Association can help participants reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes through lifestyle coaching
  • Diabetes Control Program at select Albertsons pharmacies can help patients better control their diabetes and reduce its devastating complications
  • Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock issues proclamation in support of proven Alliance programs

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- UnitedHealthcare, in partnership with the YMCA, The Center for African American Health, American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Albertsons pharmacies, is bringing the clinically proven Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA) programs to Denver and the surrounding communities.

The DPCA, launched in 2010 through a partnership with UnitedHealth Group, YMCA of the USA and retail pharmacies, is a clinically proven community-based initiative aimed at tackling the epidemic of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

To mark the launch of the DPCA programs in the Denver area, Mayor Michael B. Hancock made a citywide proclamation in the atrium of the Wellington Webb Municipal Building.

“Diabetes is an epidemic sweeping our communities and yet it’s preventable,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “Through increased education and awareness, I know the people of Denver can fight back against this disease. I applaud the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance partners for taking action against diabetes and prediabetes here in Denver, helping our citizens live longer, healthier lives.”

Following Mayor Hancock’s proclamation, Chris Urbina, M.D., executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, provided a keynote address on the challenges type 2 diabetes presents to the state of Colorado.

UnitedHealthcare, the YMCA of Metro Denver, the Center for African American Health, the ADA and Albertsons then held a Community Panel Discussion, “The Preventable Epidemic: Community-Based Solutions for Tackling Diabetes.”

Distinguished panelists included:

  • Michael McDermott, M.D., director of Endocrinology and Diabetes Practice at University of Colorado Denver Medical School, American Diabetes Association Colorado Board president
  • Jack Weiss, M.D., regional medical director, UnitedHealthcare
  • Glenda Mitchell, diabetes program manager, Center for African American Health
  • Linda James, association director of programs, YMCA of Metropolitan Denver
  • Caleb Burkitt, Pharm. D., diabetes care pharmacist, Albertsons

The DPCA is expanding availability of the program in Denver through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Center for African American Health and the ADA will now offer the National Diabetes Prevention Program at select locations in the Denver area as part of a national effort to reduce chronic disease including the increasing number of new cases of type 2 diabetes.

The DPCA is anchored by two evidence-based programs based on curriculum that has been clinically proven to help prevent, delay the onset of and/or control type 2 diabetes:

  • The National Diabetes Prevention Program is an innovative lifestyle coaching program, conducted in a group setting through community organizations, that helps people with prediabetes and who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes make healthy lifestyle changes and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. These changes include healthy eating, increased physical activity and other lifestyle choices. The program is modeled after the Diabetes Prevention Program research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by the CDC.
  • The Diabetes Control Program (DCP), which offers private, one-on-one consultation with pharmacists who provide education and support to help people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes. In the Denver area, the DCP will be offered at select Albertsons pharmacies.

UnitedHealthcare is the first health plan to offer the DPCA’s programs in Colorado, which will be made available at no additional cost to participants enrolled in employer-sponsored health benefit plans through UnitedHealthcare of Colorado. This marks the first time in the region that a health plan is paying for evidence-based diabetes prevention programs and engaging pharmacists to support critical diabetes management.

In Colorado, 6 percent of the population has diabetes, and diabetes costs the state $2.5 billion annually, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the ADA. Diabetes is closely tied to obesity, and according to the CDC, more than 20 percent of Colorado adults are overweight or obese.

Nationwide there are nearly 27 million adults with diabetes – 90 percent or more of them with the often preventable form, type 2 diabetes. Another 79 million Americans – more than a third of the adult population – have prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes cost the country an estimated $194 billion in 2010. If current trends continue, more than half of all Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by 2020, and diabetes will account for an estimated 10 percent of total health care spending, or almost $500 billion a year, according to an analysis from the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.

“Diabetes is an epidemic in Colorado and throughout the nation,” said Beth Soberg, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual of Colorado. “Thankfully, type 2 diabetes is preventable, and through our partnership with the YMCA, Albertsons, the Center for African American Health and the American Diabetes Association, we believe we can help people adopt small lifestyle changes that will prevent or manage this disease.”

The National Diabetes Prevention Program
The National Diabetes Prevention Program uses a group-based lifestyle intervention designed especially for people with prediabetes. Research from the original Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with support from the CDC, demonstrated that with lifestyle changes and modest weight reduction of 5-7 percent, a person with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

The DPCA currently offers the National Diabetes Prevention Program through local YMCAs and community health centers in 73 markets in 31 states.

“The YMCA has a long history of helping people live healthier and happier lives,” said Linda James, director of the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. “We are fortunate to be able to bring the Diabetes Prevention Program to the Denver area and improve the health and well-being of our community.”

The Diabetes Control Program
Albertsons, which has nine participating pharmacies in Denver, will offer the Diabetes Control Program geared toward helping people with diabetes better manage their disease and reduce the risk of developing related complications. The program provides people with diabetes access to local pharmacists trained to help manage their condition and improve adherence to physicians’ care treatment plans.

About Albertsons
Established in 2006, AB Acquisition LLC (“Albertsons”), which operates Acme, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Shaws & Star Market stores, is working to become the favorite food and drug retailer in every market it serves. The company is privately owned and operates over 1,000 stores and 12 distribution centers in twenty nine states and employs approximately 109,000 associates. For more information, please visit www.AlbertsonsMarket.com, and for more information on their Diabetes Care pharmacies, visit http://www.albertsonsmarket.com/pharmacy/diabetes-care/.

About the ADA
The American Diabetes Association Colorado is committed to work tirelessly to Stop Diabetes and to change the lives of those touched by the disease – individuals, children and families. We offer comfort and guidance to newly diagnosed adults and the parents of newly diagnosed children. We help people of all ages to better understand, cope with, or prevent this complex disease – which can be managed, but not cured. We bring hope and a sense of community through inspirational events, such as our Tour de Cure bike ride and summer camps for kids. We stand ready to lend support so that no one has to face diabetes alone. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org/colorado. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

About The Center for African American Health
The Center for African American health is a community-based organization providing disease prevention and disease management programs in the metro Denver area. The Center’s mission is to empower and improve the health and well-being of African-Americans, who have higher rates of illness, disability and premature death from diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Launched in 2005, the Center partners with a wide array of health education and health delivery organizations to provide services to thousands of participants each year. Programs such as the national Diabetes Prevention Program, Diabetes Self Management, A Matter of Balance fall prevention, and the Just Check It home blood pressure monitoring system are a few of the services provided free of charge to participants. The Center for African American Health is also active in the public policy arena, advocating for system reforms focused on prevention and on reducing health disparities.

About The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is working with community groups, health plans and health care providers to prevent diabetes from spreading across Colorado. CDPHE is working collaboratively to promote the proven Diabetes Prevention Program to communities throughout Colorado by raising public awareness of prediabetes and the DPP, identifying and training qualified community based programs to offer DPP, and encouraging health plans and employers to add the DPP as a covered benefit for employees.

About the YMCA
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. The YMCA of Metropolitan Denver operates 5 facilities located in Arvada, Downtown Denver, Littleton, Southwest Denver and University Hills; additionally, we have program offices in Aurora, Adams County and in Manual High School. For more information, please visit, www.denverymca.org.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) , a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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UnitedHealthcare
Kristen Hellmer, 602-255-8466
kristen_hellmer@uhc.com

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Colorado

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