Diabetes prevention classes begin; fundraiser helps build new outdoor space

Registration open for diabetes prevention classes; Mountain Crest Behavioral Health Center gets outdoor space for its inpatients to enjoy
Aug. 3, 2016

Without intervention, a person with prediabetes — blood sugar levels in the danger zone but not yet diabetes — is likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in less than a decade. And with no cure for diabetes, health care professionals at UCHealth are focusing on prevention.

“Diabetes is becoming an epidemic,” said Karen Brueggen, nurse manager for The Center for Diabetes at UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies. “We not only have to focus on those with diabetes, but we also need to help those who are at risk of developing it.”

The Diabetes Prevention Program’s fall classes begin in August, and preregistration is required to verify eligibility. Call the center at 970.495.8205 for more information or to register for one of these sessions:

  • Starting Aug. 24 at PVH in Fort Collins; classes are 5:30-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday.
  • Starting Aug. 31 at PVH in Fort Collins; classes are noon to 1 p.m. every Wednesday.
  • Starting Sept. 7 at MCR in Loveland; classes are 5:30-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday.
  • Starting Sept. 13 at Poudre Valley Medical Fitness in Windsor; classes are 5:30-6:30 p.m. every Tuesday.

The class curriculum — designed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — will help participants lose weight and be more physically active. Obesity is a major risk factor for both diabetes and prediabetes, said program coordinator Linda Schoon.

Participants meet with a lifestyle coach once a week for 16 weeks by attending a one-hour class with other class participants. The remaining seven months, participants will attend a biweekly meeting for two months then monthly meetings for five months.

The sessions help participants develop lifestyle changes that could improve their diets, eating habits and activity levels, as well as work on stress management and tackle barriers that may be in their way.

“Because behavior changes take a long time, the National Diabetes Prevention Program built in those seven monthly classes after the initial 16-week sessions,” Schoon said. “It is a well-organized program that not only is rewarding but also includes fun activities, with a goal of weight loss and emotional well-being.”

People seeking mental health services at UCHealth’s Mountain Crest Behavioral Health Center in northern Colorado are getting the added benefits of sunshine, thanks to community support that helped raise funds for three outdoor patio areas.

“There is a lot of research on the benefits of sunshine,” said Monica Smith, the center’s executive director. “And until now, we haven’t had that opportunity to allow our patients to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.”

Mountain Crest held its second annual fundraiser recently, raising more than $9,000. It’s enough to build a secure outdoor area for the center’s adolescent inpatient program, Smith said, adding that she hopes to have it constructed by the end of the year. Two outdoor adult areas were constructed earlier this year. They were funded by more than $6,000 from the center’s 2015 fundraiser and the remainder from community donations and the PVH and MCR Foundation, she added.

The two fundraisers were the center’s firsts and evolved after Leadership Fort Collins approached UCHealth to see if they could assist in facilitating fundraising efforts in order to support mental health efforts in northern Colorado.

After a successful first fundraiser with support from UCHealth leaders and employees, Smith said Leadership Fort Collins asked if they could help the center with a second event.

The new outdoor areas will be showcased during a community open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 15 at Mountain Crest, 4601 Corbett Drive, in Fort Collins. Look for more details on the open house closer to the event.

About the author

Kati Blocker has always been driven to learn and explore the world around her. And every day, as a writer for UCHealth, Kati meets inspiring people, learns about life-saving technology, and gets to know the amazing people who are saving lives each day. Even better, she gets to share their stories with the world.

As a journalism major at the University of Wyoming, Kati wrote for her college newspaper. She also studied abroad in Swansea, Wales, while simultaneously writing for a Colorado metaphysical newspaper.

After college, Kati was a reporter for the Montrose Daily Press and the Telluride Watch, covering education and health care in rural Colorado, as well as city news and business.

When she's not writing, Kati is creating her own stories with her husband Joel and their two young children.