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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced Suffolk County will offer a free diabetes prevention program for residents who are at risk for developing type-2 diabetes. The National Diabetes Prevention Program supports moderate behavioral changes that incorporate healthy eating and physical activity.


“We seek to create a culture in Suffolk County in which healthy living is the norm,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “To accomplish this, we are offering residents, free of charge, a program that will give them the support they need to make small lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being.”


Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken said: “Diabetes puts the body at risk for many serious health conditions. The good news is that moderate changes in lifestyle can help restore blood sugar to normal levels and result in significant health benefits. As residents begin to think about resolutions for the new year, I encourage them to consider signing up for this evidence-based program.”


The Diabetes Prevention Program, which is supported by the CDC, is led by a trained lifestyle coach. It will meet one hour per week for 16 weeks, then bi-monthly for two months, then monthly for the remainder of one year. Courses will begin shortly after the New Year and class size is limited. The first 16 sessions of each course are scheduled as follows:



Smithtown Public Library

One North Country Road, Smithtown

Time: 6:00 - 7:15 p.m.

Contact: Debora, 631-853-2928


Dates (Monday)

February 25, 2019

March 4, 11, 18, 25;

April 1, 8, 15, 22;

May 6, 13, 20;

June 3, 10, 17, 24



HRHCare Marilyn Shellabarger Family Health Center

550 Montauk Highway, Shirley

Time: 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Contact: Debora 631-853-2928


Dates (Friday)

March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29;

April 5, 12, 19, 26;

May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31;

June 7, 14


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 84 million American adults—more than one out of three—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, 90 percent don’t know they have it.  The Diabetes Prevention Program 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 diabetes by 58 percent. Lifestyle changes worked particularly well for participants aged 60 and older, reducing their risk by 71 percent.


Without the occurrence of clear symptoms, Prediabetes can be difficult to detect and often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. It’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes. Risk factors include: being overweight; being 45 years or older; having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes; being physically active less than three times a week, and giving birth to a baby who weighed more than nine pounds.


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 (631) 853-3162.




Categories: Health


Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

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Riverhead County Center

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