DENNISON -- Trinity Hospital Twin City recently received a Rural Health Care Services Outreach grant of $555,556 from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of the three-year grant project is to reduce the number of Tuscarawas County area adults who are at risk for diabetes by providing a comprehensive approach to diabetes prevention through diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle modification classes.

To make the grant program a success, Trinity Hospital Twin City has partnered with Chrysalis Counseling Center, the New Philadelphia City Health District and the Tuscarawas County General Health District. Together, the organizations hope to tackle one of the biggest threats to area residents' health -- diabetes. Nearly 7,000 Tuscarawas County adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, and another 3,500 have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

Trinity Hospital Twin City is currently inviting area adults who are at-risk for diabetes to register for the fall diabetes prevention program which begins on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the hospital's first floor St. Francis Conference Center, 819 N. First St. To be considered at-risk for diabetes, adults must fall under at least one of the following categories: adults who have a mother, father, sister or brother with diabetes; women who had gestational diabetes; women who had a baby over nine pounds; or men and women who fall in the at-risk range on the American Diabetes Association Risk Test, which is available online at www.trinitytwincity.org under the health risk screening button. The diabetes prevention program is also open to adults who have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes within the past twelve months.

The diabetes prevention program will utilize the Fit for Life curriculum and also provide access to counseling professionals and fitness coaches. "We are excited to begin this new diabetes prevention program," shared Dr. Tim McKnight, Board Certified Family Physician and founder of the hospital's Fit for Life Program. "About 2,000 adults have successfully completed Fit for Life over the past ten years, and I look forward to adapting the program to meet the specific needs of adults who are at risk for diabetes. Our team is committed to working with class participants to help them reduce their weight and make healthier choices to lower their risk of developing diabetes."

The Fit for Life Diabetes Prevention class session is a 12-week session of classes that meets weekly for about ninety minutes, and classes will meet on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. After the initial twelve weekly classes, three monthly classes will be offered to provide additional support for participants.

The Fit for Life Diabetes Prevention classes will consist of in-depth nutrition and fitness information with a focus on behavioral change. Some of the topics covered during the 12-week session include the following: The Wellness Choice, Nutrition & Your Health, Eat to Live, Flexibility Fitness, Stress Management, and Disease Prevention & Healthy Aging. Participants will enjoy a hands-on learning experience that includes learning to read food labels, viewing and understanding correct portion sizes, holding a replica of 5 pounds of fat, trying on a 20 pound fat vest and more. Dr. McKnight is the primary instructor throughout the class session which is supplemented with professional guest speakers.

The cost to join the Fit for Life Diabetes Prevention Program is $20 per person and covers blood work to be completed before and after the class and educational materials. To register for the Fit for Life Diabetes Prevention session that starts Sept. 16 or for information, call 740-922-7450, ext. 2124.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number D04RH28379 of the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program for $555,556 with approximately 30 percent of the costs paid by nongovernmental sources.