Local Impact - Oregon

Larry Smith

Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Larry Smith was referred to the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) by his doctor and has been involved with the program for almost a year. He has made many transformations since joining the program and strides towards meeting his ultimate goal through lifestyle improvements. The program requires a person to meet certain conditions in order to join.

To qualify, a participant must be diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes means a person has higher than normal glucose (blood sugar) levels and is at a higher risk of developing diabetes.

DPP’s main focus is to help those individuals that are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes by revamping lifestyle changes through education and community activities.

Mr. Smith completed the 16-week course curriculum about 6 months ago. He continues to do follow-up care and bi-weekly coaching visits to help maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Through this program Mr. Smith has learned to eat healthier, exercise more often and in general practice better health tactics to make greater strides in healthy lifestyle changes.

Some of the healthy choices he has made include eating different fruits and vegetables that he hasn’t tried before. Also, through the help of this program, he has made changes by exercising more than he has in the last ten years. Another great change he has made is an overall healthy psychological attitude towards his new lifestyle enhancements.

The program has really helped him get into a daily exercise routine. Mr. Smith has lost 20 pounds within the time he’s participated with the program and feels he’s in a lot better shape.

He now enjoys his healthy eating habits and continues to keep pushing to meet his ultimate goals. He plans to use many of the steps he has learned through the program and is now using to continue being healthy.

One of the biggest challenges Mr. Smith faces, as do most people when trying to make lifestyle changes, is trying to break old habits. Some things are easier said than done and being able to say you are going to make healthier choices for yourself and doing them are two different things.

Montell Elliot is Mr. Smith’s Lifestyle Coach and she has a few nice words to say about his journey towards living a healthier life. “Larry is doing an awesome job of staying on track by keeping up his motivation, trying new foods and new strategies! It is funny that the retired produce man for Safeway needs to be motivated to get enough fruits and vegetables though it shows we all need someone to help us stay accountable.”

Although Mr. Smith faces difficulties through trying to make better lifestyle changes, he says what keeps him on track and his favorite component of the program is being able to speak with his lifestyle coach every other week.

He says, “I have one of the best coaches out there. She does wonders for me.” Sometimes when an occasional mishap comes along he begins to feel bad about his decision. But his lifestyle coach helps him get back on track and get back into the swing of things.

We all make mistakes and it’s nice to have someone there whether it’s a lifestyle coach, spouse, family member or friend to help encourage our good habits and not condemn us when we accidentally get side tracked. Positive reinforcement is such a key part in making healthy life-long improvements. Our DPP staff is here to be that positive reinforcement to help participants fight the onset of diabetes. Larry Smith’s words of advice to his community would be, “If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes, take a class, get yourself motivated to lose weight and take care of yourself.”

One of the easiest things to do is say yes I will make a change for a healthier lifestyle. But to get up and do it may be a challenge in itself and yet is one of the most rewarding accomplishments you can do for yourself. You are not alone. The Diabetes Prevention Program is here to help you get on your way to making a healthier lifestyle change for you.

If you have any questions about our program or would like to contact us about more information, please give us a call at (541) 553-7718.

Diabetes in Oregon

According to 2008 CDC data, approximately 199,000 people in Oregon – 6.5% of the state’s population – had diagnosed diabetes, and many suffer from serious diabetes related complications and conditions. In addition to the human toll diabetes places on the people in Oregon, the financial burden diabetes places on the health system in the state is staggering – in 2007, the direct and indirect cost of diabetes in Oregon was approximately $2.18 billion.

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