Kettle Moraine YMCA works to prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Author: | Posted in Uncategorized No comments

 The Kettle Moraine YMCA is taking a pro-active approach toward helping people gain control and prevent Type 2 Diabetes.


Mary Beth Emmer, YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator “It’s neat to watch people take ownership of their lives,” said Emmer. “They complete a weekly food-and-activity tracker, we talk about fat grams and they find they cut calories and eat healthier just by making small changes.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is part of the Center for Disease Control(CDC) led National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Research by the National Institute of Health has shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58%. A 71% reduction was seen among adults aged 60 years or older.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based behavior change program designed to help adults who are at a high risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes reduce their chances of developing the disease.

The program is 12 months starting with 16 weekly sessions, followed by eight monthly sessions.


Pat Vanden Heuvel, 60, of West Bend came into the program in March. “I went to my doctor at the beginning of the year and I came back prediabetic,” she said. “My doctor recommended Weight Watchers but I called the Y to see if they had any programs and I found this course.”

Vanden Heuvel said it was exactly what she was looking for. “I learned to pay more attention what I eat,” she said. “I like chips. I mean, I like chips a lot.”

Other downfalls included ice cream and deep-fried foods. “I thought if it was deep-fried vegetables, how bad could it be,” she said. “I didn’t know about fats and its link to prediabetes.”

Making time to exercise and keeping a food diary were a couple other specifics from the course that got Vanden Heuvel back on track.

“This program is different because you can tell people how you feel and I got the support I needed because I was in a group,” she said.

Since March, Vanden Heuvel has exercised, read the labels on food, and paid attention to her portions. She visited the doctor again and she is no longer prediabetic and she’s lost 25 pounds.

“I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing,” she said. “And the more weight I lose the more I can do.”

According to the YMCA, in 2012, the total cost of diagnosed diabetes was $245 billion; $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity.

It is estimated 8,400 people in Washington County have Type 2 Diabetes. Based off national averages, as many as 1 in every 3 Washington County residents has prediabetes, and only 22% know it.

A prediabetes diagnosis means a person has elevated blood glucose levels that are not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis, but are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.

A prediabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean developing Type 2 Diabetes is inevitable, yet it should serve as a final wake-up call to improve health.

In 2012, the Kettle Moraine YMCA (KMYMCA) was selected by YUSA to provide the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to the Washington County and surrounding service areas. With the recent purchase of the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA, in Port Washington, KMYMCA will begin offering classes in Ozaukee County.

Since November of 2012, 241 individuals have enrolled in the program at KMYMCA. To date, 19 classes have been offered. Being able to reach this many people is greatly due to the start up and continuation funding the KMYMCA has received from the St. Joseph’s Healthy Community Fund.

The cost for the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is $429 for the year long program, which for some may be a barrier to reaching their healthy lifestyle goals.

With the funding from the KMYMCA’s Annual Campaign and St. Joseph’s Healthy Community Fund, we have financially supported over 200 people in participating.

On average, YMCA program participants have completed 152 minutes of physical activity per week, losing an average of 10.9 lbs. in the first 16 weeks.

Over 100 participants were surveyed after completing the 16 weekly program sessions. These participants reported experiencing improvements in their health-related habits and behaviors during the life of the program.

Ninety-four percent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they reduced their portion sizes since completing the program and 87 percent reported experiencing improvement in their overall health.

These types of results are directly linked to our community’s commitment to support our health, as well as financial support through local funding sources and partnerships.

The Y and program participants are thankful for the financial generosity from the Healthy Community Fund and KMYMCA’s Annual Campaign donors. Additionally, a strong referral system including Aurora Health Care, Froedtert Health, and Paladina Health have proved to be a crucial component to our communities overall health. The providers in these organizations are advising their patients that they are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes and encouraging and directly referring people to enroll.

Find out if you are at risk or have prediabetes at…/adult-…/diabetes-prevention-program/

At risk, what are your next steps?

-Contact your doctor to get your blood glucose or A1C values assessed.

-Contact the Kettle Moraine YMCA YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Coordinator to enroll

Fee: $429 and includes a free Y membership ($500 value)
payment plan and financial assistance is available.

The Y is committed to helping prevent chronic disease by giving individuals of all age’s tools for healthy living. As one of the nation’s largest charities, Ys are poised to be part of a new health care delivery system that values prevention.

More information about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program contact: Mary Beth Emmer, YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator at the Kettle Moraine YMCA 262-27-1050
[email protected]

Add Your Comment

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :