Community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together with the PreventT2 lifestyle change program offered by Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person), being more physically active and managing stress.

People with prediabetes have higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels and have a 15 to 30 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said John Griggs, RN, Diabetes Educator for Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf. “The PreventT2 program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

Participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. PreventT2 groups meet for one full year — weekly for the first 16 weeks, then once or twice a month for the next 8 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.

PreventT2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The local program will meet at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf in Port St. Joe beginning on July 10, and is FREE to qualifying participants.

“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” added Griggs. “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, PreventT2 participants are making lasting changes together.”

Participation in the PreventT2 Lifestyle Change Program offered by Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf is based on the following eligibility criteria:

-18 years or older and

-Be overweight (BMI ≥24 kg/m2) and

-No previous diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 Diabetes

-Half of the participants must have one of the following:

- Hemoglobin A1C: 5.7%–6.4% or

- Fasting plasma glucose of 100–125 mg/dL or

- 2-hour plasma glucose of 140–199 mg/dL after a 75 gm glucose load or

- Previous history of Gestational Diabetes

To learn more about this free program and find out if you qualify, call John Griggs at 229-5620. For more information about Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, please visit