The growing numbers of individuals with prediabetes are staggering and to make matters worse, most individuals are not aware they have prediabetes. Unfortunately, West Virginia currently has a high percentage of residents with prediabetes and diabetes. However, works are in progress on moving forward with needed changes within the state.
Recently, the West Virginia Hospital Association held a conference in Bridgeport, WV. The conference focused on the potential of creating a Diabetes Pilot Project in Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) in West Virginia. Brenna Earnest, MSN, RN, CDE, from WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital, was invited to speak regarding the current program available through the hospital in Keyser, WV.
Potomac Valley Hospital (PVH) was the first hospital in WV to earn full recognition as an accredited National Diabetes Prevention Program, in 2014. This gave Earnest an opportunity to talk with other Critical Access Hospital’s throughout West Virginia about creating a successful program. “I felt privileged to be asked to speak at the conference. As a speaker, I was able to share how PVH initiated the program, began getting referrals, and how we have conducted many classes with numerous achievements,” said Earnest.
Since the Diabetes Prevention Program’s inception in 2012, participants have seen many successes. Our “biggest loser” lost 72 pounds over the course of the year. From the beginning of January 2017 to the end of December 2018, there were 129 individuals attending 1530 total sessions with a 4.7% average weight loss and had 137 minutes of weekly activity on average.