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Healthy Suffolk: Free Program Helps Participants Reduce Risk of Diabetes

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Department of Health Services Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken invite residents who are at risk for developing type-2 diabetes to participate, free of charge, in the county- administered National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The program supports moderate behavioral changes and has proven to reduce risk in those who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

DPP is based on a research study led by the National Institutes of Health. The study showed that with intensive counseling and motivational support, participants were able to make behavioral changes, reducing their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Lifestyle changes worked particularly well for participants aged 60 and older, reducing their risk by 71 percent.

“We seek to reverse in Suffolk County the nationwide trend toward increased rates of diabetes. This program addresses the behaviors that contribute to diabetes, a disease that exacts enormous costs to the individual, the family and the community,” said Executive Bellone, who rolled out “Healthy Suffolk” last fall.

“Diabetes puts people at risk for many serious health conditions,” said Dr. Tomarken. “The good news is that moderate changes in lifestyle can help restore blood sugar toward normal levels and result in significant health benefits,” said Dr. Tomarken.

The Diabetes Prevention Program is led by a trained lifestyle coach. It meets one hour per week for 16 weeks, then monthly for the remainder of one year. The Department of Health Services is offering three new sixteen-week Diabetes Prevention series beginning in September and October:


Fridays, September 11, 2015 through January 15, 2016, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

HRHCare Marilyn Shellabarger Family Health Center

550 Montauk Highway, Shirley

To register, call Janis at 631-853-3187

North Babylon

Tuesdays, September 15 through December 29, 2015, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Spangle Drive Senior Center

438 Spangle Drive, North Babylon

To register, call Debora @ 853-2928 (Pre-Registration is required)


Port Jefferson Station

Mondays, October 19, 2015 through February 1, 2016, 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

DJames Marketing

1075 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station

To register, call Debora @ 853-2928 (Pre-Registration is required)

For more information or to find out if you are at risk for diabetes, visit the Diabetes Prevention Program page on the Suffolk County website or call the Office of Health Education at 853-3162.

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