By Karl Ronn, First Mile Care CEO and Founder

The upcoming Super Bowl® this Sunday got me thinking how, in the war against diabetes, a good defense alone is not enough to win battles.  We need to go on the offensive against diabetes to stop it before it happens. It’s within our power.

The updated National Diabetes Statistics Report says that more than one in ten adults in the U.S. has diabetes, putting them at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, blindness, dementia, and even COVID-19. About 96 million adults, or 38% of the adult population, have prediabetes. What’s worse, more than eight out of ten people with prediabetes don’t even know they have it. That means they may not make easy adjustments in diet and exercise to prevent developing type 2. New data from a CDC health study reveals only about 10% of American adults eat the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables, and a good 25% don’t do any physical activity outside of work, according to another recent CDC survey

Once people know their condition, they go on the defensive to address it with medication. But that alone isn’t stopping the spread of diabetes. We need a strong offense, not just defense. This is where the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) comes into play. It is clinically proven that DPP participants who lose 5-7% of their body weight and add 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58% — and 71% for people over age 60. 

At First Mile Care, we are partnering with physicians — including those at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) —  to go on the offensive against diabetes at a hyper-localized level. Through our diabetes prevention program — fully recognized by the CDC for its effectiveness — we are building physician capability to help their patients address diabetes before it develops into type 2.  By educating program participants on how to make small, incremental, sustainable lifestyle changes, we help them to reverse their prediabetes status.

First Mile Care acts as a complementary extension of the physician’s practice to offer diabetes prevention classes with a limited touch. We analyze practice data so we can enroll qualified participants by ZIP codes and arrange neighborhood-based classes with local coaches we certify in the DPP. We work to retain participants, track their progress, and report data back to physicians in the way they want, when they want it — usually on a quarterly basis — and manage administrative details to ensure coverage by Medicare, Medicaid, and major health systems and insurers.

To learn more about how you can benefit from the First Mile Care Diabetes Prevention Program, take the prediabetes risk test and get started today!