The McHenry County Department of Health has earned full recognition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its community diabetes prevention program.
The diabetes prevention program has been offered at no cost by McHenry County health department coaches Carol Waggoner, a registered nurse, and Bridget Hoffmann for the past three years to participants who are at risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a news release.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use, increasing age and women who have had gestational diabetes. Research shows that participating in a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes in half.
The CDC recognizes lifestyle change programs that meet certain standards and show results can be achieved. Qualifying standards include following an approved curriculum, facilitation by a trained lifestyle coach and submitting data every 6 months to show that the program is having an impact.
Nursing Director Susan Karras said in a news release she is grateful for the recognition and is working with staff to begin offering the classes virtually during the pandemic.
“This recognition represents the dedication of our staff and the quality of programs we are developing to improve the health of McHenry County residents," she said in the release. "We will continue this program by coming up with new ways to safely provide it during the pandemic. We are dedicated to empowering McHenry County residents to improve their health by providing them with the knowledge and support they need.”
The McHenry County health department also offers other no-cost, evidenced-based diabetes management and prevention classes in English and Spanish.
More information about the diabetes prevention and management programs can be obtained by contacting Waggoner at 815-334-4580.