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YMCA Expands Diabetes Prevention Program to Montefiore Sites

Marks the First Time the Innovative, Evidence-Based Program is Available in NYC Clinical Environments

Expansion Underscores the Y's Commitment to Bringing Diabetes Prevention Resources to New York's At-Risk Communities

NEW YORK, NY - (March 22, 2012) - The YMCA of Greater New York has expanded its Diabetes Prevention Program to two Montefiore Medical Center primary care sites in the Bronx, with plans to roll the program out to additional clinical locations across the city in the coming months. This expansion marks the first time the innovative, clinically proven program has been made available in clinical environments in New York City.

The YMCA's award-winning Diabetes Prevention Program is a 16-session group behavior change class that helps address the prediabetes epidemic through peer support, healthy eating, increased activity, weight management, and other lifestyle changes. In a group setting, a trained YMCA lifestyle coach helps participants to learn how to eat healthier, increase their physical activity, and learn about other behavior modifications. After the initial 16 core sessions, participants meet monthly for up to a year for added support to help them maintain their progress. To date, the program has helped more than 200 New Yorkers lose more than 1,000 lbs, and stave the onset of Type II diabetes.

"The great part of the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is that it can be run anywhere - from a local Y, to a hospital, to someone's home - all you need to run an effective program is a trained coach and willing participants," said Judy Ouziel, YMCA of Greater New York Sr. Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives. "We are working with our partners in the community to move the program outside of the walls of our Ys and into other settings to help tackle this growing New York City epidemic. We are thrilled to partner with Montefiore Medical Center to provide at-risk communities in the Bronx access to this life-changing resource that can help delay or prevent the onset of this irreversible chronic illness."

Beginning this month, the program will be made available at Montefiore's Comprehensive Family Care Center and Grand Concourse locations. Both clinics operate as part of Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Montefiore provides extensive clinical education, training programs and graduate medical education, and its hospitals provide more than 93,000 inpatient stays every year. Montefiore receives more than 2.5 million visits annually at more than 100 locations providing ambulatory care in the Bronx and Westchester.

"We are proud to be the first clinical partner with the YMCA of Greater New York," said Jennifer Leone, Program Director, Patient Education. "Our two organizations are both deeply committed to combating diabetes, which has grown to epic proportions in our community."

Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) applauds the expansion of the program and the cooperation of two like-minded organizations. "I applaud the Bronx YMCA and Montefiore Hospital for offering this effective and innovative program to help local residents avoid the onset of diabetes," said Crowley. "This important initiative, funded in part through a program created in the Affordable Care Act, will prevent disease and save lives in the Bronx and throughout the City."

In addition to the two Montefiore-affiliated clinical locations, the Y plans to work with New York hospital networks to expand the program to additional primary care sites across the city in 2012.