BGHC and WSUV partner on nationally used course to stop increase in Type 2 Diabetes patients
BATTLE GROUND — In an effort to stop the rising number of Type 2 Diabetes patients, the free clinic of Battle Ground HealthCare (BGHC) and WSU Vancouver’s extension campus are partnering to offer a free community prevention course.
“The changes that happen in people’s lives are significant,” said BGHC Executive Director Sue Neal. “It’s been shown and proven. So what we’ve been doing, working closely with with WSU extension is how is it that we are actually going to keep people interested and connected and coming back and staying, you know, through the course of a year.”
The course, known as the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), will be offered in both English and Spanish with the English course beginning on Jan. 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the Spanish on Jan. 28 from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
The year-long program will feature weekly to monthly workshops and meetings designed to foster healthy habits and create a support structure. Participant objectives will be to lose weight and become more physically active.
Nationally, graduates of the program have seen weight loss between 5 and 30 percent of their body weight and have clinically verified reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes, according to BGHC.
“The whole goal behind this is to keep people from ever developing diabetes,” Neal said. “We’re really looking at working with our community partners to say, ‘Let’s all work together,’ so we have viable classes to be able to pull in the people and then the word gets out about what it’s like to be in these courses and the success.”
Coaches trained in the areas specific to Type 2 patients and those at risk, will work with course participants to build healthy eating plans and go through printed materials that explain ways to increase physical activity, move through social and emotional barriers and develop a life-long plan.
According to BGHC, people at risk for Type 2 Diabetes many times do not experience noticeable symptoms or side effects. Type 2 is often linked to hereditary factors, gestational diabetes, being over 45 years old, being overweight, and being physically inactive. Online, there is a risk assessment quiz recommended by the clinic.
“What we saw was the power of that social relational emphasis that’s there,” Neal said. “When people come together as a group and they have things in common, they develop this relationship that is supportive and motivating and keeps them coming back. We are as human beings, we are social creatures and we’ve gotten away, a bit, from the power of that connection, and that’s what we see keeps people going.”
The classes will be held for one hour weekly for the first four months. From there, participants will meet bi-weekly for two months, then monthly for the final five months of the program. Registration is required and can be completed by either contacting Battle Ground HealthCare at (360) 687 8941 or Amy Raney at (564) 397 5721.