Taking Diabetes Prevention To The Workplace

Houston employers are signing up for a new program to prevent and treat diabetes. It's estimated about 800-thousand people in the Houston region have diabetes and thousands more are at risk.

While members swam laps downstairs, about a hundred employers and health care providers gathered upstairs at the new YMCA downtown to hear about a campaign called "Not Me."

The program takes a two-pronged approach to prevent and treat diabetes.

Dave Milich is the CEO of United Healthcare's South Texas division. He says United is partnering with the YMCA for the
prevention aspect of the program.

"They offer a 16-session program that essentially helps those individuals that we identify as being prediabetic, helps them with things such as lifestyle intervention. So everything from eating healthier, exercise programs and then other behavioral programs that will help people make those changes necessary to prevent diabetes from coming on, or at least delaying its onset."

On the treatment end, Kroger pharmacists will meet directly with diabetes patients to help them understand the disease and prevent complications.

METRO is one of the employers joining the Not Me campaign. Debbie Ware is METRO's benefits manager. She estimates about 1,000 METRO employees are eligible for the program.

"I think it's a good program and it's going to hold us accountable. We do better when we are held accountable because we have others that are in the same boat as we're in."

Research from the National Institutes of Health shows a 58 percent reduction in the onset of diabetes through modest weight loss.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...