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Hazel Hawkins Hospital, YMCA partner to combat diabetes in San Benito County

Diabetes Prevention Program will have participants meet for 25 sessions, with scholarships available for those whose insurance doesn't cover the program

Hawkins Memorial Hospital is partnering with the Central Coast YMCA to provide a Diabetes Prevention Program for the residents of San Benito County. The CCYMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults (starting at 18 years of age) at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease.

The hospital was approached by Bill Proulx, CCYMCA’s director of healthy living, to collaborate on a diabetes prevention program upon learning of the establishment of the Barragan Family Diabetes Center by the hospital. Currently, the YMCA has diabetes prevention programs throughout Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties and now is starting them in San Benito County.

This year-long program requires a commitment for participants to meet weekly for 16 weeks, then bi-weekly for three sessions and finally monthly through the end of the year (25 sessions total). The cost is $429, which includes adult YMCA membership.

Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation will provide funding for the program in the form of scholarships for patients unable to afford the program if their insurance doesn’t cover the expense. The program will be held at the Barragan Family Diabetes Center in the new patient education classroom. Admission into the program is through physician referral that will come from the endocrinologists at the Diabetes Center as well as physicians throughout the community who have patients who are pre-diabetic.

“The Foundation is pleased to have this opportunity to fund scholarships for this program," said Kris Waller, foundation director. “The YMCA is an excellent organization and combining their program with our new Barragan Family Diabetes Center is a perfect match to address the health care needs in our community.”

Bill Proulx notes, “Research demonstrates that one in every three adults has pre-diabetes. Collaborating with Hazel Hawkins will help us fight the diabetes epidemic that is affecting our communities. We have found with our pre-diabetes efforts in Salinas and Watsonville that a hospital partner greatly enhances our community outreach to fight diabetes.”

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This is a much needed service to our Community. Latino families make up the highest demographics in San Benito County and have been found having a higher incidence of Diabetes than any other ethnic groups. The Barragan Family could not have given a better gift to San Benito residents. It is truly a " gift that keeps on giving ".

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