How two Advocate Health Care hospitals tackled prediabetes in its communities

How two Advocate Health Care hospitals tackled prediabetes in its communities

When 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes, that’s a problem. When more than 8 out of 10 of these adults don’t even know they are prediabetic, that’s downright scary!

This is such an area of need that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the National Diabetes Prevention Program in 2010 to help those that are pre-diabetic.

Through a community health needs assessment, teams at Advocate South Suburban Hospital and Advocate Trinity Hospital identified that prediabetes was a health concern in its local communities.

That’s when Rukiyat Lawal, community health project manager, and Lenora Bridges, community health coordinator, stepped in and looked at ways they could help.

“Diabetes was a prevailing concern in our communities, so we looked at what kind of preventive programs we can offer in our areas,” says Lawal. “The CDC diabetes program was identified as the best solution.”

The yearlong program is relatively simple. For the first six months, participants meet weekly for one hour with a lifestyle health coach to learn about topics, such as healthy eating and how to add physical activity to their schedule and cope with challenges.

For the remaining six months, participants meet for one hour a month to build on these skills. They review goals, track food and exercise, and discuss how to overcome barriers and maintain new healthy lifestyle habits. Through the program, participants have access to an e-newsletter, cooking demonstrations and online fitness sessions through Zoom.

Between 2017 and 2024, Advocate South Suburban hosted over 15 sessions. Of the 324 participants that enrolled, 210 completed the year-long program. The average weight loss of participants during the program has been 8 pounds. To date, over 2,193 pounds have been lost and 67% of participants achieved at least one diabetes risk reduction goal.

Similarly, Advocate Trinity has hosted five sessions in 2024 with 98 participants currently active in the program. From December 2023 and May 2024, the current overall weight loss from the group was 218.5 pounds.

The program has become a resounding success. In fact, both hospitals were awarded with the CDC Full Plus Recognition. This designation is reserved for programs that have effectively delivered a quality, evidence-based program that meets all of the standards for CDC recognition and additional retention thresholds. The sustained success of the program has made an invaluable impact on the community for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

“It has been a great journey seeing participants accomplish their goals. You can see them from a pre- and post-program perspective,” concludes Lawal. “At the beginning they are worried and concerned about their health but by the end they are brighter and just relieved.”

Are you interested in the Chicago-based prediabetes program? Enroll now.

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About the Author

Colin Schaller
Colin Schaller

Colin graduated from Marquette University with a degree in communications and has more than 10 years of experience in small marketing firms to Fortune 500 companies. Colin is married to his wonderful wife, Brooke, and they have two children. Outside of work, Colin enjoys golf, going to the gym, watching movies (he is a Star Wars nerd), tinkering with his home theater and spending time with family and friends.