UnitedHealthcare Expands Diabetes Prevention Program to Memphis; Peabody Hotel Helps Employees "Tell Diabetes Not Me"

July 26, 2013
  • Diabetes Prevention Program delivered by local YMCAs can help participants reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes through lifestyle coaching
  • Peabody Memphis Hotel to host Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance's "Tell Diabetes NOT ME" national mobile diabetes screening tour
  • Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr., to issue proclamation in support of efforts to tackle  diabetes

UnitedHealthcare, in partnership with the YMCA, is making the Diabetes Prevention Program available to The Peabody Memphis hotel employees and their spouses.

The Diabetes Prevention Program is one of the programs offered through the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), which launched in 2010 through a partnership with UnitedHealth Group, YMCA of the USA and retail pharmacies as a clinically proven community-based initiative aimed at tackling the epidemic of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

The Peabody Memphis hotel employees and their spouses now have access to the Diabetes Prevention Program at no additional cost to plan participants as part of their UnitedHealthcare benefits offering.

The program for the hotel employees is being announced today at a special diabetes screening and education event hosted by The Peabody where the DPCA's "Tell Diabetes NOT ME" national mobile tour will make a pit stop to help bring attention to the prevalence of the disease.

The staff members of the DPCA and YMCA will be on site at The Peabody to evaluate hotel employees' risk of developing type 2 diabetes, educate them about the disease, and help qualifying participants enroll in the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr., also will issue a citywide proclamation in support of efforts to tackle prediabetes and diabetes.

"Type 2 Diabetes is an epidemic sweeping our communities and yet it's preventable," Wharton said. "Through increased education and awareness, we can fight back against this disease. I applaud The Peabody and the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance for taking action against diabetes and prediabetes here in Memphis, and helping our citizens live longer, healthier lives."

"We are pleased to take action in our ongoing campaign to prevent chronic illness among our associates. The overall health and wellbeing of our associates plays a critical role in team morale and can even have an effect on the kind of gracious Southern hospitality we are known for here at The Peabody. Preventative care is the key," said Lisa McNutt, director of human resources at The Peabody Memphis.

The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is a 12-month lifestyle behavior intervention with 16 weekly sessions and eight monthly follow-up sessions. The program is delivered in a classroom setting by trained lifestyle coaches and provides a supportive environment where a small group of individuals work together to learn how healthier eating and increased physical activity can help reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that lifestyle behavior changes – healthy eating, modest weight loss and increased physical activity – can help reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent. The program is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

In Tennessee, 9.1 percent of the population has diabetes, and diabetes costs the state $2 billion annually, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Diabetes is closely tied to obesity, and according to the CDC, more than 68 percent of Tennessee 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 Tennessee and throughout the nation," said Gregory Reidy, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual of Tennessee. "However, type 2 diabetes is preventable, and through our partnership with the YMCA, we believe we can help people adopt small lifestyle changes that will prevent or better manage this disease."

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 Cynthia Magallon Puljic, vice president, Health Innovations, YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South. "We are fortunate to be able to bring the Diabetes Prevention Program to the Memphis area and improve the health and well-being of our community." 

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.

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 Memphis YMCA currently has 8 full facility branches and 3 program branches that serve the community.  For more information, please visit www.ymcamemphis.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.

About The Peabody Memphis
The Peabody Memphis is a Forbes Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond property of Peabody Hotels within the portfolio of the Peabody Hotel Group, Memphis, Tennessee. The luxurious downtown hotel is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Historic Hotels of America, and on the National Register of Historic Places. Called the "South's Grand Hotel," the historic luxury hotel is legendary for its charm, elegance, gracious Southern hospitality, and five resident mallard ducks that march daily through the Grand Lobby at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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