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The Kroger Co. is among the partners in Not Me, a new national campaign designed to combat the spread of type 2 diabetes.
The Cincinnati-based grocery giant is joined by UnitedHealthcare and the YMCA of Greater Houston as partners in the campaign of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, an employer- and community-based initiative aimed at fighting diabetes, prediabetes and obesity.
“Kroger is proud to partner with UnitedHealthcare to bring this comprehensive diabetes treatment and self-care management program to Houston,” said Bill Breetz, Kroger Southwest Division president. “Managing diabetes is not an easy task. But having a convenient location, such as a neighborhood Kroger store, where you can get extra support and resources, can make it easier. We’re proud to be a part of the Alliance and look forward to contributing to its success in helping to reduce the negative impact of this disease.”
Nearly 80 million Americans are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, noted Dr. Ann Albright, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking at the campaign’s recent launch hosted by the Houston Wellness Association.
“The good news is we can do something about it. We have a prevention program that works. To help us change the course of diabetes in America, we need health professionals, lay workers, employers and the private sector,” Albright said. “Our goal at the CDC is by 2020 for 15 million Americans to improve their long-term health through the National Diabetes Prevention Program. The Y has projected that it can reach about 6 million of these people. So, clearly, we need even more partners to come on board.”
Not Me is anchored by two evidence-based programs proven to help prevent and control type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes Prevention Program and the Diabetes Control Program.
The Diabetes Prevention Program is a 16-session lifestyle intervention, conducted in a group setting through the Y, that helps people with prediabetes and who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes prevent the disease through healthy eating, increased physical activity and other lifestyle changes. This is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program led by the CDC.
The Diabetes Control Program connects diabetics with Kroger patient care pharmacists for private, one-on-one consultations that provide education and support to help people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes, such as heart disease, nerve disease, blindness and limb amputations.
Houston is one of six cities in the country to participate in the Not Me program, which marks the first time in the United States that a health plan is paying for evidence-based diabetes prevention and engaging pharmacists to support critical diabetes management programs. DPCA services are currently available at no out-of-pocket cost to participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans through UnitedHealthcare and Medica in select markets.
DPCA, launched in 2010 by founding partners UnitedHealth Group, YMCA of the USA and Walgreens, is one of many UnitedHealth Group programs and services that fight diabetes, obesity and related health problems in creative, practical ways to help improve health care quality, expand support and coverage, and help bend the cost curve.
Evidence suggests that early and aggressive intervention can help people avoid the health and financial toll of diabetes. The programs at the Y and Kroger have been tested in controlled clinical trials or pilot projects with the National Institutes of Health, CDC, the Y, Indiana University, clinical centers, employers and retail pharmacies.
The Kroger Southwest Division operates 207 stores, 197 pharmacies and 104 fuel centers in Texas and Louisiana and is part of one of the nation’s largest retail grocery chains serving customers in 31 states.