STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Staten Island YMCA and Richmond University Medical Center have joined forces to extend the reach and increase the success of the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program.
The Y has offered the 16-week program for a number of years. The partnership with RUMC grew out of a dedication of both institutions to curb the diabetes epidemic on Staten Island.
A kickoff and light dinner will be held next month for those interested in learning more about the program that is being offered at no cost.
"This program is one step toward lowering the rate of preventable chronic disease in our community. The collaboration includes access to hospital resources, including Dr. Philip Otterbeck, who will serve as the program's medical director," said Daniel J. Messina, president and CEO of RUMC.
The program is available at both the Broadway YMCA in West Brighton and the South Shore YMCA in Eltingville. The kickoff event will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. at the South Shore YMCA, 3939 Richmond Ave. Space is limited; register with Valerie Krause at 718-227-3200 by February 13.
"We believe that it is through partnerships such as this that we will succeed in lowering the rate of diabetes on Staten Island, and create an overall healthier borough," added Anita Harvey, senior executive director of the Staten Island YMCA.
The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based program that helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes - those with an A1C level, a measure of blood glucose, of 5.7 to 6.4. Research by the National Institutes 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 percent; or 71 percent in adults over the age of 60.
"We look forward to reaching more Staten Islanders with this innovative program geared to prevent diseases, rather than to manage their complications," said Dr. Otterbeck, the new medical director of the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program on Staten Island and Chief of the Endocrinology Division at RUMC.
Program participants attend the 16 weekly sessions with a lifestyle coach, and receive information and handouts on different topics promoting a healthy lifestyle. Participants also track their food intake and physical activity in a journal, which they turn in to their coach each week.
Through either Medicare or a grant, participation in the YMCA's Diabetes Program is available at no cost. Medicare beneficiaries qualify under funding provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. For those who do not meet the funding criteria, the cost of the program is being waived thanks to a grant for those at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Winter classes are currently being enrolled. For more information on upcoming classes, call Judy Ouziel at 212-912-2524, or visit nyc.ydiabetes.com.