Type 2 diabetes education offered

Press Gazette contributor

MILTON — The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County National Diabetes Prevention Program has once again received full recognition from the Centers for Disease Control. This designation is reserved for organizations that effectively deliver evidence-based type 2 diabetes prevention programs in communities across the United States.

Barb McMillion, BSN, MS is the public health services manager and director of nursing for the Department of Health in Santa Rosa. "We are extremely proud to have our program recognized by the CDC," McMillion said. "This achievement is due entirely to the dedication of our lifestyle coaches and hard work on the part of our class participants.  It was definitely a team effort."

Seats are still available for the next session of the National Diabetes Prevention Program offered by the DOH-Santa Rosa County. The first class will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Feb. 26, at the DOH-Santa Rosa Milton office, 5527 Stewart Street.  The registration fee is $26.00 and includes classes led by a trained lifestyle coach, lab tests and a workbook. 

Participants may be referred by a primary care provider or self-refer by contacting Susan Howell at 564-2263 or Ashlee Turner at 564-2304 to register.

Led by the CDC, the program is based on research that showed that people with prediabetes who lost five to seven percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) reduced their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.  Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, participants learn the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active and managing stress.

Participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of their success. Classes meet once a week for 16 weeks, then once a month for six months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together, participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.

People are more likely to have prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes if they:

  • Are 45 years of age or older 
  • Are overweight
  • Have a family history of Type 2 diabetes 
  • Are physically active less than three times per week 
  • Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds 

"The complications from Type 2 diabetes are serious and can include heart attacks, stokes, blindness, kidney failure, and the amputation of toes, feet or legs," McMillion said. "Small changes can make a big difference.  This program can help those with prediabetes make the lasting changes they need to prevent diabetes and its complications and improve their quality of life." 

Visit the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County website at http://santarosa.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/wellness-programs/healthy-lifestyles-tookit/index.html to learn more about making healthy choices and preventing Type 2 diabetes.