By Karl Ronn, First Mile Care CEO and Founder

I’m pleased to share that First Mile Care is in the process of rolling out our highly successful Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) within California’s Central Valley. In partnership with a national health plan, we’re initially targeting populations showing a high incidence of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes — specifically, Fresno, Sacramento, and surrounding counties

What’s more, the First Mile Care Diabetes Prevention Program is now accessible for the first time to physicians who accept patients covered by a Covered California™ health plan. The California Covered exchange makes private health insurance coverage available to eligible individuals and small businesses at federally subsidized rates. The DPP is also covered nationally by Medicare and under California Medicaid.

The best option for addressing type 2 diabetes is to stop it from developing in the first place. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 38% of the U.S. adult population has prediabetes, putting them on track to develop type 2 diabetes and its associated deadly chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke. 

Local medical experts say the epidemic is even greater in the Central Valley, where nearly half of the adult population of Fresno County, for example, has either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. In Madera County, approximately 14% of residents are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes compared to a 9% state average. Yet eight out of ten people don’t even know they have prediabetes, or how easily they can reverse the condition through small incremental habit changes.

First Mile Care has achieved CDC Full Recognition for our DPP, a designation given only to programs that have successfully delivered a quality, evidence-based program that meets all of the standards of the National Diabetes Prevention Program. The year-long lifestyle change program is clinically proven to reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (and 71% for age 60-plus). 

Our community focus

First Mile Care takes the burden off physicians and health care systems by acting as a complementary extension of a physician’s practice to deliver diabetes prevention classes. In partnership with physicians, we recruit and activate participants based on their ZIP code to develop critical mass for establishing in-person DPP group classes. We secure community-based locations close to participants’ homes to emphasize a shared neighborhood experience which promotes lasting lifestyle changes. 

At First Mile Care, we strive to address social determinants of health and health equity by becoming one with the community. We recruit experienced local coaches, certify them in the DPP, and help them tailor sessions appropriately to reflect local activities, amenities, culture, foods, languages, and weather. Coaches recognize the micro-challenges people face in their daily lives and are in a position to make personalized recommendations on healthy practices to create small, sustainable habit changes.

We are already partnering with health care providers in the greater metropolitan areas of Houston, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Syracuse, and San Francisco. We enrolled more than 600 people in the DPP in 2022, and aim to enroll at least 1,000 participants in 2023. Please read testimonials on our website from a few of our successful graduates. 

Health systems and community-based physician practices interested in offering the DPP to their patients should contact us for more information. 

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!