SARANAC LAKE — The North Country Healthy Heart Network has won a five-year grant to replicate a successful diabetes prevention program throughout Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.

The funding, awarded by the New York State Office of Rural Health, will support the Heart Network’s newly formed North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition as it works with primary care providers to increase identification of people at risk for prediabetes, a press release from the Healthy Heart Network said.

Once identified, Heart Network staff and coalition partners will work with providers to develop a process for connecting patients with community-based programs and services that can help them get and stay healthy.

The coalition will also establish evidence-based programs in communities where they don’t currently exist, the Heart Network said.

“The ultimate goal of this work is to establish systems of care that keep people healthy, which in turn saves the health system money on treatment of chronic disease,” said Heart Network Executive Director Ann Morgan in the release.

 

HEALTH COACHING

The North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition will build on work started at Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake.

In 2015, the Heart Network received a grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to partner with Adirondack Health to support development of Moving Forward Together to Prevent Diabetes, a program that provides prediabetic patients with health coaching and helps to connect them with community-based programs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, prediabetes is a serious health condition triggered by higher than normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes.

Some 84 million American adults have prediabetes, though 90 percent of those people don’t know they have it.

Prediabetes increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the release said.

“Prediabetes is reversible,” Morgan said. “Programs like Moving Forward Together have proven that lifestyle and dietary changes can prevent more serious illness.”

 

POSITIVE RESULTS

"To date, Moving Forward Together has netted positive results, with 36 percent of patients successfully lowering blood sugar levels into the normal range and 73 percent losing weight," the Heart Network said.

Adirondack Health recently received a grant from the Adirondack Health Institute to continue the program for patients there.

“Adirondack Health has had such great success with this program,” Morgan said. “As a coalition, we will work to replicate that success throughout the North Country.

"We will help primary care offices increase identification of individuals at risk for developing prediabetes and work with communities to establish programs and services that will support them.”

 

PROACTIVE APPROACHES

"The new Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition combines with current Heart Network programs — Creating Healthy Schools and Communities and Health Systems for a Tobacco Free NY — to build upon comprehensive, proactive approaches to improving the health of our region’s communities," the release said.

To learn more about the coalition, contact Morgan at 518-891-5855 or amorgan@heartnetwork.org.

North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition partners include:

• Adirondacks Accountable Care Organization, which works with Medicare to make it easier for doctors and hospitals to work together "to provide high quality care," according to its website.

• Adirondack Health.

• Adirondack Health Institute, an independent, nonprofit with the goal of supporting hospitals, physician practices, behavioral health providers, community-based organizations, patients and others "to transform health care and improve population health," its website says.

• University of Vermont Health Network, Alice Hyde Medical Center, Malone.

• Clinton County Public Health.

• UVM, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Plattsburgh.

• UVM, Elizabethtown Community Hospital.

• Essex County Public Health.

• Franklin County Public Health.

• HIXNY, the health information exchange that serves every provider, resident and visitor that accesses health care in a region that includes Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties and much of the rest of New York state.