Successfully Preventing Diabetes

Recently, 11 EmblemHealth employees celebrated their graduation from the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) held at EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care in Chinatown. Karen Ignagni, EmblemHealth President and CEO, attended to congratulate those for taking steps toward lifestyle change.

The DPP program is offered to all EmblemHealth employees and members at no extra cost. The company launched the program in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and AHIP in July 2013.

Conveniently held at EmblemHealth’s NYC offices and EHNC locations, the program teaches individuals with prediabetes, the techniques necessary to lead healthier lives. Prediabetes is a serious condition that affects 86 million Americans and often leads to type 2 diabetes. Shockingly, only 10 percent of people with prediabetes know they have it.

Research shows that a higher number of participants are more likely to enroll and complete the program knowing that their physician is aware of their participation and support their steps toward change.

AdvantageCare Physicians — the multispecialty physician-led practice group and partner of EmblemHealth — is an integral part of the success of the DPP program. As part of the support strategy, physician champions are selected at various AdvantageCare Physicians locations to help identify potential DPP participants and work with lifestyle coaches on ways to guide enrolled patients.

“I am proud of this innovative and collaborative effort supporting diabetes prevention,” noted Dr. Joseph Zeitlin, Chief Medical Officer, AdvantageCare Physicians. “The DPP program is helping both EmblemHealth and AdvantageCare Physicians break down health disparities in local communities and ensure quality access to managed care.”

Throughout the program, a CDC-trained EmblemHealth lifestyle coach leads weekly group sessions and uses a member-centric approach to engage participants. The group setting provides a supportive environment and encourages participants to help each other strategize ways to overcome obstacles.

“In total, this year’s graduating class reached an overall weight loss of 80 pounds,” explained Erin Reddan, DPP Lifestyle Coach. “It’s a very remarkable number and I’m extremely proud!” Studies show that for every 2.2 pounds (1kg) of weight lost, a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes decreases by 16 percent.

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Commenting on the success of this year’s graduating class, Patricia Kidd Arlotta, Diabetes Prevention Specialist, EmblemHealth, said, “Watching each individual progressively make changes was heartening. Their victory confirms that the DPP program is life changing.”

One participant emphasized how effective the program is, “It’s very personal to me because I have a family history of diabetes. The DPP program provided me with a path toward a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.”

New classes will be starting soon at EHNC locations in Cambria Heights and Harlem, as well as at EmblemHealth NYC offices. If you’re interested in learning more about the EmblemHealth offered program, call 646-447-0976.

For more information, on the National Diabetes Prevention Program, please visit