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Winn-Dixie has become part of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), an initiative with the goal of curbing diabetes, prediabetes and obesity by expanding access to community-based programs that employ evidence-based approaches to help prevent and control the condition.
Trained Winn-Dixie pharmacists in 29 of the grocer’s stores in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, Fla., will assist patients taking part in the alliance’s Diabetes Control Program to help people learn to better manage diabetes and stick to their physicians’ recommendations. Patient education aims to reduce the risk of developing such complications as cardiovascular, kidney and eye disease. After an initial visit, the pharmacists will hold quarterly consultations with enrolled patients to evaluate their success in adhering to prescribed diabetes regimens and review the patients’ test results for blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol.
“Diabetes is an epidemic that affects millions of people across the country,” noted John Fegan, VP, pharmacy at Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie, which operates about 480 grocery stores, including around 380 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. “By joining the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, Winn-Dixie is able to offer participating patients the support and resources they need to help them tackle this disease and improve their health.”
“The DPCA programs have been proven to make an impact on the nation’s diabetes epidemic, and new partners like Winn-Dixie are helping to broaden the reach of these programs to help individuals, families and communities live healthier lives,” added Deneen Vojta, M.D., SVP at Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group and chief clinical officer of the DPCA, which UnitedHealth created in partnership with the YMCA and retail pharmacies. Other alliance partners in the grocery industry are Albertsons LLC and Kroger.
The rate of diabetes in Florida has doubled over the past 15 years, rising from 5.7 percent in 1995 to 9.9 percent currently, and ranking Florida in the top 10 states in the country, according to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Florida Department of Health estimates diabetes costs the state $8.7 billion annually.