Philadelphia Diabetes Prevention Collaborative Aims to Address the Disease Before it Starts
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a group of regional collaborators—led by the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH)—formed a collaborative working to fight the disease before it impacts lives.
The Philadelphia Diabetes Prevention Collaborative (PDPC) consists of more than 20 organizations and companies working together to provide focused attention on diabetes prevention strategies and health-promotion initiatives. In particular, it promotes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a lifestyle-modification program launched in 2010 to address the increasing burden of type 2 diabetes.
“With a focus on helping people with prediabetes find a path toward healthy eating and exercise, the effort has evidence-based success,” according to Dr. Mitchell Kaminski, the JCPH’s population health program director. A research study about DPP found that participants in the lifestyle change program reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent (and 71 percent for people over 60 years of age).
With support from the American Medical Association, JCPH was called upon to lead the targeted local effort in the five-county Philadelphia region, to build awareness of diabetes prevention strategies and encourage enrollment in the DPP lifestyle change program.
The collaborative’s focus is twofold: educate providers and patients about effective lifestyle change programs, and ensure that interested participants have access to classes, which have continued virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has become particularly important in 2020, as diabetes and racial disparities in healthcare are risk factors for COVID.
The need for such a program stems from Philadelphia’s standing as the poorest of America’s 10 largest cities and its ranking at the bottom of the commonwealth’s 67 counties in terms of health outcomes.
The collaborative brings together stakeholders from community-based organizations, academic health systems, providers, payers and local employers focused on disease prevention and health-promotion activities.
Working with HealthShare Exchange, the Health Promotion Council and the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health, the group is establishing connections that will raise awareness, improve access and expand the capacity and sustainability of local programs that offer DPP.
“We offer a network referral hub as a single point of entry into one of the many National Diabetes Prevention Programs offered by partners across Southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Gina Trignani, Director of Training and Capacity Building, Health Promotion Council, a subsidiary of Public Health Management Corporation.
Collaborators include the American Diabetes Association®, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, Aetna, Cigna, Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health, Health Care Improvement Foundation, Health Federation of Philadelphia, Health Partners Plans, Health Promotion Council, HealthShare Exchange, Independence Blue Cross, Jefferson Center for Urban Health, Keystone First, Mayor’s Commission on Aging, Oak Street Health, Philadelphia County Medical Society, Pottstown Medical Specialists, Quality Insights and Temple Health.
For more information about the Philadelphia Diabetes Prevention Collaborative, visit Jefferson.edu/PreventDiabetesPHL.
Sr. Media Relations and Content Specialist
Thomas Jefferson University