Prepare program launched to better serve London adults with prediabetes

clip_image002

May 4, 2011

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.

-30-

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