Rye YMCA Marks Diabetes Awareness Month with Education, Outreach and Training

Back Camera[Rye, November 11, 2013]  As a leading voice for community health, the Rye YMCA recently kicked off National Diabetes Awareness Month by training six new lifestyle coaches for its YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and starting a new Spanish language DPP class at Open Door Family Medical Center in Port Chester.

The YMCA’s DPP is a lifestyle modification program that helps adults reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes through healthier eating and increased physical activity. Developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, the YMCA’s DPP has helped more than 12,000 people at 600 sites across the country, to date.

Recognizing that diabetes and other chronic diseases disproportionately affect Latino and Africa-American individuals, the Rye YMCA has teamed with Open Door to bring YMCA DPP classes to these populations.  The lifestyle coach training, which was held at the Rye Y over the weekend of November 2 and 3, will allow the Y and Open Door to expand the program’s reach throughout the Sound Shore region.  Three of the coaches trained are bilingual in Spanish and English. Five of them are staff members from Open Door; the sixth coach to be trained is affiliated with the Hispanic Resource Center of Larchmont and Mamaroneck, another partner in the Y’s community health work.

Y staff are also enthusiastic about the start of the second Spanish-language YMCA DPP class to be held at Open Door.  Led by Rolando Alvarez, a YMCA DPP lifestyle coach and [patient advocate at Open Door, the new class started on November 5 and includes seven participants who have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Currently, one in three Americans (79 million people) has prediabetes, a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis.  An estimated 11 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it.

“Over the past two years, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program has helped dozens of people adopt healthier lifestyles and reduce their risk of developing not only diabetes, but also other chronic diseases,’” remarked Tanya Stack, coordinator of the program at the Rye Y.  We’re excited about bringing this program outside the walls of the Y and into the communities we serve.  Our goal is to offer the YMCA’s DPP at faith-based organizations, senior centers, social service agencies, schools or anywhere people gather.”

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the Rye YMCA is encouraging all Sound Shore residents to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease.

In addition to the newest developments with the YMCA’s DPP, the Rye Y will host a free lecture by Erica Christ, a registered dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator from Greenwich Hospital.  Ms. Christ will discuss the risks of diabetes, how to prevent the disease and healthy recipes for the upcoming holiday season.  The lecture, which is open to the public, will be held on Thursday, November 21 at 12:30 p.m. at the Rye YMCA.

For additional information about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program or the free lecture, contact Tanya Stack at 914-967-6363, ext. 206 or tanya@ryeymca.org.