HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY VISITS PARKER HANNIFIN DOWNTOWN YMCA
US Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell visited the Parker Hannifin YMCA on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to host a round table discussion about efforts by the Obama Administration to create a health care system that provides better care, spends health care dollars more wisely and makes people healthier.
The YMCA of Greater Cleveland was one of the highest performing participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program, a model funded by the Affordable Care Act that helps Medicare beneficiaries decrease their risk for diabetes-related illnesses and is certified to reduce Medicare spending. Beneficiaries in the program attended weekly meetings with a lifestyle coach who trained participants in strategies for long-term dietary change, increased physical activity, and behavior changes to control their weight and decrease their risk of type 2 diabetes. Enrollees in the program lost about 5 percent of their body weight, which is enough to substantially reduce the risk of future diabetes.
During the roundtable discussion with patients, health care providers, and YMCA leaders, Secretary Burwell focused on the Diabetes Prevention Program as an example of how the Obama Administration is working towards a health care system that focuses on quality over quantity of care and rewards prevention and wellness.
FROM OUR PARTICIPANTS
After watching her mother suffer from the complications of type 2 diabetes, Mary Jane was determined to avoid the same fate. Through the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, Mary Jane built relationships with the class coach and other participants, and received year-long support. She is eager to share her new healthy lifestyle with friends and family, and works to incorporate it into her grandchildren’s lives.
Richard Maudsley was a mail carrier most of his life; but upon retirement he became very sedentary. Richard enrolled in the Diabetes Prevention Program after learning he was pre-diabetic as a result of his lifestyle. When Richard attended his first class, the changes seemed insurmountable. However, slowly, he began to track his food intake, opening his eyes to how much he had been eating. He changed his eating habits and began visiting the YMCA for exercise, and is committed to his new healthy lifestyle.
Tina Sterling’s mother was a diabetic, and after watching her mother struggle, Tina wanted to do all she could to avoid developing the disease. Through the Diabetes Prevention Program, Tina learned how to change her lifestyle, becoming more aware of her food choices and physical activity level. Although she worked full time, the support of the program helped her make positive changes, despite her busy schedule.