Mercy Hospital Fort Scott and Peerless Products Inc. are collaborating to tackle diabetes in our community.
Approximately 15 employees are taking advantage of the pilot program at Peerless presented by Mercy employees, with meetings set each Friday for one hour.
Peerless management gives the employees the time to attend during their workday and pays the fee of those who choose to participate in the diabetes prevention program, according to Cindy Davis, Director of Health and Wellness at Peerless.
The pilot program runs for one year. Classes meet for one hour, once a week, for the first six months, and then decreases in frequency to monthly maintenance sessions, according to a press release from Jody Hoener, Mercy Clinic Quality and Community Benefit Liaison.
“We welcome the program and support our employees attending, with that health issue,” Davis said, who has been at her job for approximately one month.
The diabetes prevention program, led by Hoener, and Mercy’s Registered Dietician Sherise Beckham, uses an evidence-based approach proven to motivate and support individuals in making practical, real-life, lasting change.
The prevention program is not a diet and is not a well-intended, short-lived weight loss program, it’s a lifestyle change, according to Beckham in the press release.
“We want Peerless Products to be the employer of choice,” Coby Jones, Peerless Products owner said. “We are creating a worksite environment where Peerless is a place where living healthier lifestyles is easier to do,” according to the press release.
The Mercy Diabetes Prevention Program, a new service provided by Mercy Hospital, is funded through a Pathways to a Healthy Kansas grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. It is part of the Center for Disease Control National Diabetes Prevention Program.
The American Medical Association reports the burden of Type 2 Diabetes as substantial with $69 billion in lost productivity and $176 billion in direct medical costs, according to the Mercy press release.
Typically, one in three employees has prediabetes, and it is a reversible condition.
Working outside of hospital walls, Mercy is taking steps to improve the culture of health and wellness through The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team, with grant funds provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas through its Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative, according to the press release.
Bourbon County was selected as one of the first eight Pathways communities in 2016, according to the press release.
Mercy is building relationships with many community stakeholders through the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative.
The Mercy Diabetes Prevention Program is part of the community-wide initiative to implement policy and environmental change in order to improve the quality of life, encourage economic development, increase awareness and community engagement in leading healthy lifestyles, and support tobacco-free living.