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WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital hosts Diabetes Yearlong Lifestyle Program, invites community to participate

BUCKHANNON – WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital launches Diabetes Yearlong Lifestyle Program with hopes to better the lives of those experiencing prediabetes symptoms or diagnosed with Type II diabetes.

WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital Food and Nutrition Services will offer this yearlong program with a variety of services, educational opportunities and resources available to participants.

“West Virginia is ranked number one in terms of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, among other things. I know I am not the only one in healthcare that wants to do this, but I would love to be able to help reverse those numbers,” said Kelly Povroznik, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital. “It’s going to take the whole community to work on doing this.”

Povroznik strives to include the community of Upshur County and beyond in this initiative to combat diabetes rates in West Virginia.

“The most important thing is that we’re doing this program to help people make lifestyle changes. That’s what this is about,” Povroznik told My Buckhannon. “I always stress to everyone, it’s not diet, it’s lifestyle change.”

Binders filled with activity logs, food logs and other resources will be available for each participant to encourage a positive routine toward this lifestyle change. These materials encourage tracking of food intake, exercise and other practices with hopes to turn these goals into a reality. Weekly weigh-ins are an optional service that are offered privately.

Program courses will cover topics including nutrition education, diabetes prevention, healthy living, and stress reduction, among others.

For a portion of the program, the Diabetes Yearlong Lifestyle Program will partner with WVU Extension FARMacy to provide participants with various resources, healthy recipes and fresh produce from local farmers in addition to materials from WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital.

According to WVU Extension FARMacy Program, “Socioeconomic and structural inequalities such as poverty, rurality, lack of access to healthcare, food deserts, and nutrition insecurity make it challenging for many to manage their conditions, and are closely linked to poor health outcomes and the poverty/obesity paradox.”

Povroznik explained that each meal is a brand new, fresh start. But a fresh start is not always easy.

“Is it going to be hard? Is it going to be overwhelming and a lot of information? Yes, but it is a yearlong program and we are going to take it one day at a time, one step at a time,” Povroznik said.

The prospective launch date for the Diabetes Yearlong Lifestyle Program will be the beginning of May 2023. The frequency of meeting times will vary throughout the entirety of the program. Make-up sessions will be available to participants if a session is missed.

The first six month program goals include:

  • Decrease weight by 5-7%
  • Increase physical activity at least 150 minutes or more per week

The second six month program goals include:

  • Keep weight off that has been lost
  • Work towards weight goal
  • Continue to decrease weight if desired
  • Continue with 150 minutes of exercise per week

Those experiencing symptoms of prediabetes or those diagnosed with Type II diabetes could see a variety of benefits from a program of this caliber; such as a change in a participant’s regular blood sugar ranges, possible weight loss and participants could generally, feel better.

“I’m an advocate for all kinds of different nutrition pieces here [at St. Joseph’s Hospital], in regards to wellness. Whatever we need to do to help West Virginia get moving and get healthier, that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about the people,” Povroznik said.

Those who may be experiencing symptoms of prediabetes and potential program participants are encouraged to complete a Prediabetes Risk Test. See the Prediabetes Risk Test here.

Contact Kelly Povroznik by phone at 304-473-2197 today to learn more about this program. Interested participants are also encouraged to speak with their doctor about the program to request a referral to enter the program. Visit WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital at 1 Amalia Drive in Buckhannon.

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