Idaho Public Health receives grant for Diabetes Prevention Program

LEWISTON, ID - Diabetes is a serious disease affecting close to ten-percent of adults in the North-Central Idaho region.

Public Health's Idaho North-Central District is doing something to chance that.

"Our local MRC Unit; the Medical Reserve Corp Unit, applied for a grant through NACCHO; the National Association of Counties and Cities Health Organizations," said MRC Coordinator, Idaho Public Health, Ryan Bender. "It's for a $15,000 grant to implement the Diabetes Prevention Program."

And their request was accepted. They will use that $15,000 for a program the Idaho Public Health North Central District has never had. It's the National Diabetes Prevention program, developed by the Centers for Disease Control.

"The program is focused on helping people at risk for developing diabetes; prevented," said Heidi Henson, Program Manager for Idaho Public Health. "So, we're looking for those folks who may not be exercising a lot, may be overweight, might have some blood sugar concerns, and they're wanting to get into a program to change their lifestyle."

It's a one-year program geared toward adults. Before getting into the program you'll take a quiz that will determine if you're qualified. The North Central Idaho MRC Unit is looking for volunteers to help with the program.

"The North-Central Idaho Medical Reserve Corp is part of a national network of dedicated volunteers that are engaged in the communities, help strengthen public health and improve emergency preparedness," said Bender.

They'll be recruiting volunteers through the end of the month, and they are hoping to start the first class by May.

"This program is important because the rates of diabetes are climbing, and pre-diabetes," said Henson. "The CDC estimates about 35-percent of U.S. adults have pre-diabetes; most of them don't know it. So, by taking part in this program, the goal is to lose weight and exercise more, and it can really reduce their rate."

To learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program or find out if you qualify, contact Heidi Henson or Ryan Bender at PH-INCD: 208-799-3100. To join the North Central Idaho MRC visit