Diabetes Wellness Success: Mildred

29 May

Success Story from Director of Preventive Health Susan Kettren:

Having a history of diabetes and wanting not to be another statistic were the main reasons why five  years ago Mildred sought out the YWCA’s Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Program. She continues to this day invested in the program serving as one of our valuable Mentors. What she liked about the program then and what she hopes that she now provides to our current participants is the feeling that of the staff and mentors are here to help you. “We are all in this together and we want everyone to succeed in meeting their goals,” she says. For Mildred, besides increasing her exercise, she feels she has done a 180 degree change for the better with her diet and eating habits. “Practice what You Preach” is her motto. Thank you Mildred!

What is the YWCA Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Program?

More than 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Medical expenses for people with diabetes are two times higher than for people without diabetes, leading to an estimated $174 billion in annual diabetes costs in the United States. Yet, the disease is preventable – and often reversible – through diet and exercise.

Over the past five years, the YWCA of Asheville’s Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Program has helped 48o people with diabetes and pre-diabetes in western North Carolina manage the disease through discounted or free disease education, fitness and support services.

The program strives to reduce health disparities among low-income and minority men and women through services that include:

• A year-long membership to the YWCA of Asheville fitness center
• Free partnership with an on-site personal trainer specialized in diabetes
• Education training from Mission Health physicians, nurses and other medical staff
• Monthly consultations with Mission Health pharmacy interns
• Certified diabetes education from Mission Health
• Support groups, cooking classes and access to partnering minority health programs

Studies have shown that people with pre-diabetes who lose weight and increase their physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and, in some cases, return their blood glucose levels to normal. Diabetes can lead to serious conditions and complications, such as blindness, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney damage, and stroke. Studies have also shown that when people with diabetes work together with their support network and their health care providers, the likelihood of developing complications from diabetes is significantly reduced.

With support from the Mission Healthcare Foundation, NC Dept. Health & Human Services – Office of Minority Health,  Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NC Foundation, the United Way of Asheville & Buncombe County and others, the YWCA of Asheville reduces the financial healthcare burden for local families and for the entire community of Asheville through its Diabetes and Wellness Prevention Program.

For more information about this program, email skettren@ywcaofavl.org or call 254-7206 x 212. 

photo by sandra stambaugh

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