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May 4, 2011

Prepare program launched to better serve London adults with prediabetes

 

London, ON – On Thursday May 5, 2011 a new program will be launched that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of those diagnosed with prediabetes. Lead researcher Dr. Isabelle Giroux, with Dr. Danielle Battram and Dr. Paula Dworatzek from Brescia University College, in partnership with The Diabetes Education Centre of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, The Canadian Diabetes Association – Southwest Ontario Regional Leadership Centre, and The Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging at The University of Western Ontario will launch an expanded six-month prediabetes education and research program. This program, “Prediabetes Research and Education Promoting Activity and Responsible Eating” known as prepare, has been funded through the generous support of The Lawson Foundation.

An innovative strategy for providing diabetes prevention education to the London community, the prepare program focuses on providing community members with components proven to help delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes: nutrition and physical activity education; individual goal-setting and self-management skill development; and a supportive network of professionals to help individuals make positive and lasting lifestyle changes.

Once adults with prediabetes have been referred by a physician to the Diabetes Education Centre of St. Joseph’s Health Care London for prediabetes education, they will have the option of participating in prepare’s free, six-month interactive, educational, group program. During each monthly session, registrants will engage in physical activities led by a qualified physical activity specialist. They will also be invited to join optional monthly walking groups.  They will learn about healthy eating strategies through hands-on activities, food demonstrations, and optional monthly cooking workshops developed by Registered Dietitians. Registrants will also have the opportunity to reflect on their health, with support from community healthcare professionals, in order to develop sustainable and achievable lifestyle goals. Participants are able to bring a friend or family member to the sessions who can help them to stay motivated in between sessions.

“There are many components of the prepare initiative that makes it unique,” explains Dr. Isabelle Giroux, Associate Professor in Brescia’s Foods and Nutritional Sciences division and the Prediabetes program lead.  “We want to strengthen the delivery of prediabetes health services through a community-based healthy lifestyle intervention program accessible to individuals who are at high risk for diabetes. Prepare provides an opportunity for health care professionals, researchers, and key community organizations to reinforce collaboratively, the delivery of prediabetes health services in the London area.”

The prepare program isn’t a typical one-or two-time information session. Using a client-centred self-management approach will engage participants to increase self-care skills and enable them to make small, incremental, and achievable behavioral changes. These will lead to sustainable positive lifestyle modifications. Prepare is an intervention-based initiative designed to help registrants implement change in their lives right here and right now.

In addition to participating in the prepare program, registrants are provided with a pedometer, a self-management toolkit, access to ongoing support and monitoring, optional walking programs, healthy cooking workshops, and a one-year membership to the Canadian Diabetes Association.

For more information about the prepare program please visit, www.brescia.uwo.ca/prediabetes_initiative/ or contact Isabelle Giroux, Associate Professor in Brescia’s Foods and Nutritional Sciences Division, and Prediabetes Coordinator at 519-432-8353 (extension 28255) or igiroux@uwo.ca.

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Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more information, please visit www.brescia.uwo.ca