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OneWorld patient finds personal success after completing Diabetes Prevention program

Maria Saqui, OneWorld patient, was referred to OneWorld’s Diabetes Prevention program in November 2021. OneWorld Wellness Coach, Leticia Flores de Garcia, gave Maria a call and soon after, she began her journey to take control of her health.

Funded by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, OneWorld’s Diabetes Prevention program is designed to help people with prediabetes learn how to adapt their lifestyle and make changes by themselves to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

Leticia uses the Prevent T2 curriculum, designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Classes are held via Zoom or in person as needed, and are offered in English and Spanish.

“Hearing the word ‘prediabetes’ was scary for Maria, and she had mixed emotions about the program,” said Leticia. “After she agreed to try the program, I learned that she does not have access to transportation or technology, so completing the program via Zoom was not an option.”

Determined to help, Leticia offered to do the sessions at Maria’s house. Removing these access barriers allowed Maria to fully invest herself in the program and take charge of her health.

“As part of the program, participants have to commit to completing a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity each week,” said Leticia. “Maria started with 35 minute sessions, and now she is well past the minimum.”

The yearlong program outline is 16 weekly sessions, followed by four bi-weekly sessions and then six monthly sessions. The sessions cover topics including the core principals of getting active, tracking activity, healthy eating, time management, stress management and coping with triggers for unhealthy behaviors.

Participants receive a scale at the beginning of their program and after six classes, participants receive a Fitbit to help stay motivated and to track their physical activity minutes.

As participants go through the program, Leticia’s goal is for participants to depend less on her, and more on their own knowledge and goals.

To accommodate Maria’s schedule, Leticia and Maria often completed two sessions at one time. Along with her personal dedication, Maria finished the Diabetes Prevention program two months early.

Over the course of 10 months, Maria lost 60 pounds. Not only did she make healthy lifestyle changes for herself, but she reached her own personal health goals and her medical clinician relayed the good news that Maria is no longer considered at risk for diabetes.

“Seeing participants gain confidence like Maria did, and the positive changes they make to live a healthy lifestyle without being at risk for diabetes makes my position very rewarding, and I’m so happy to help,” said Leticia.

Maria with her partner before (left) and after (right) completing the Diabetes Prevention program. / María con su pareja en el antes (izquierda) y después (derecha) de completar el Programa de Prevención de Diabetes.

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