CDC grant comes to UF/IFAS for diabetes prevention

UF/IFAS joins partnership with Molina Healthcare to prevent type 2 diabetes in Palm Beach, Broward

By Mickie Anderson, 352-273-3566,

Contact: Linda Bobroff, 352-273-3521,

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A UF/IFAS Extension faculty member will lead a project, in partnership with Molina Healthcare, that will offer an intensive, 16-week course for some residents in Broward and Palm Beach Counties to help them prevent type 2 diabetes.

UF/IFAS Extension will receive nearly $1 million, over the next four years, to implement lifestyle change classes locally as part of the Molina Healthcare and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). AHIP was one of six organizations awarded CDC’s $6.7 million cooperative agreement to bring the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) to their communities. AHIP is working with four managed care organizations, such as Molina Healthcare, to expand the NDPP nationwide.

Linda Bobroff, a professor and Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension nutrition specialist, is the Florida project’s director.

The project is unique because of its intensive focus, she said. In each county a lifestyle ‘coach’ and a program assistant will be hired to lead at least two 16-week NDPP courses each year for the four years covered by the cooperative agreement.

The NDPP course helps participants learn to make healthy lifestyle changes that can reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent. Those changes include incorporating physical activity, better nutrition choices, and losing a moderate amount of weight, if needed.

The CDC estimates that 79 million persons have prediabetes, an elevated-blood sugar condition that often leads to type 2 diabetes within a few years.

UF/IFAS officials hope eventually to expand the program beyond Broward and Palm Beach counties, Bobroff said. In fact, four county Extension faculty have already been trained to teach the NDPP and will be starting the program in 2013, in Columbia, Marion, Sumter, and Suwannee Counties.

The CDC cooperative agreement will be used to recruit and train the lifestyle coaches and program assistants to lead classes; and to build alliances with businesses and insurers to provide financial support for such classes as a covered benefit for employees.

More on IFAS:  — UF IFAS Extension website – Department website (visit Extension section) – UF IFAS Extension publications data base