MaineHealth Practice Awarded Grant to Focus on Diabetes Prevention

January 16, 2018

The American College of Preventive Medicine has awarded a $15,000 grant to Maine Medical Partners Portland Family Medicine to develop new practice models that address type 2 diabetes. Funding will be used to develop and implement a new protocol for referring patients to the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program.

According to the CDC, more than one out of three adults in the U.S. have prediabetes. In Maine, over 457,000 people have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle change programs like NDPP can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

“As a family physician, I am committed to supporting my patients in increasing physical activity and healthy eating,” said Christina Holt, MD, director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at Maine Medical Center and a physician at Maine Medical Partners. “Programs like NDPP are great for my patients with prediabetes who are looking to make some changes, and who want support and training that’s been proven to work for people like them.”

NDPP is an evidence-based program based on research led by the National Institutes of Health. Researchers published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002. The research showed that people with prediabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle change program cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent through modest weight loss (5 percent to 7 percent of body weight).

One of the practice’s referral strategies will involve connecting patients with health educators at the MaineHealth Learning Resource Center who will discuss the program and register the patient. This strategy addresses the need to properly educate the patient on lifestyle changes and increase the number of patients who are referred by their physicians to NDPP classes. If successful, this protocol could be replicated at practices throughout the MaineHealth system.

“Diabetes is an organizational priority for MaineHealth and a top priority across communities in our service area, many of which named diabetes as a key concern in their 2016 Community Health Needs Assessments,” said Deborah Deatrick, senior vice president of community health at MaineHealth. NDPP classes are currently offered at several MaineHealth member organizations, including Stephens Memorial Hospital, Waldo County General Hospital, Maine Medical Center and Pen Bay Medical Center. LincolnHealth partners with its local YMCA to refer patients and community members to NDPP classes hosted by the YMCA.

Maine Medical Partners Portland Family Medicine is among six healthcare organizations from across the U.S. to receive grant funding from the American College of Preventive Medicine. Other awardees include South Nassau Community Hospital (Oceanside, NY), Griffin Faculty Physicians (Derby, CT), Accent on Health (Washington, DC), Northeast Missouri Health Council (Kirksville, MO), and Christopher Rural Health Planning Cooperation (Mulkeytown, IL).

At the conclusion of the project, grantees will present their findings at a daylong Diabetes Prevention Institute being held in coordination with Preventive Medicine 2018 ACPM’s annual conference on May 22-26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

The project is a collaborative effort between MaineHealth and Maine Medical Partners Portland Family Medicine. Team members include Emily Keller, MD, and Christina Holt, MD, with the Division of Preventive and Community Medicine at Maine Medical Center, along with Marin Johnson, MS, and Stephanie Gagne, with the Prevention and Wellness Program at the MaineHealth Center for Health Improvement.

Media Contact:
Kate Guare
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207-661-7719 |