Diabetes Prevention Program in session at the Regional YMCA of Western CT


The Regional YMCA Recognized as Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Provider  

More Connecticut residents can take part in its highly successful, in-person diabetes prevention programs. 

The Regional YMCA of Western CT  has been recognized as a Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Provider (MDPP) by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), meaning that more Connecticut residents can take part in its highly successful, in-person diabetes prevention programs. Medicare participants across the state who want to take part in the YMCA’s program can now have it paid for by insurance. Participating in the Diabetes Prevention Program has been proven to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58-71%. 

“In the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, participants learn the skills they need to live healthy lives and maintain that lifestyle over time. Small lifestyle changes can positively impact the risks associated with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Our Medicare designation allows us to extend programming to even more participants,” said Lisa O’Connor, Director of Evidence Based Health Initiatives at the Regional YMCA. 

Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States. According to the Connecticut Department of Health, 10.8% or 312,000 adults in the state have been diagnosed with diabetes. Roughly 91,000 are estimated to be undiagnosed. Nationwide, approximately 34.5% of all adults have prediabetes, and here in CT, only 9.1% have been diagnosed as having prediabetes, when blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. The cost of diabetes is also high. Total medical expenses for diagnosed diabetes in Connecticut were estimated at $3.7 billion in 2017 on direct and indirect costs according to the American Diabetes Association. 

In Connecticut, diabetes is more prevalent among adults ages 65 and older. The MDPP is specifically designed to help Medicare beneficiaries who have symptoms of prediabetes develop healthy habits to prevent type 2 diabetes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) oversees the program on a federal level, and organizations that achieve this certification have submitted 36 months (12 months for CDC Preliminary Recognition and up to 24 additional months for full recognition) of data from year-long diabetes prevention lifestyle change programs. 

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program focuses on small, measurable, reasonable goals to give participants confidence they can make the necessary changes to reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes and live healthier lives. Using a curriculum developed by the CDC, a trained lifestyle coach facilitates a small group of participants in learning about healthier eating, physical activity and other behavior changes over 25 sessions. The year-long program consists of 16 weekly sessions and 3 sessions every other week during the first 6 months followed by monthly sessions in the second 6 months. 

The Regional YMCA offers in person and virtual programs throughout the Greater Danbury area and delivers the program in both English and Spanish.

  • Thursdays at 6:15pm beginning May 30
  • Fridays at 10:30 am beginning June 14th


Program participants who have completed the program can speak to its success. 

“This program not only has changed my life, but it introduced me to other people struggling with the same issues I am. From the very first class there was a sense of commitment and comradery. No one told me what to eat – instead I learned how to control my diet on my own terms. No one told me what exercises to do – instead I was given an achievable goal that I could tailor to my own needs. And, most important, no one judged me for my issues any more than I judged them. The information presented every week was insightful and our ‘coach’ very supportive and full of tips of her own.”  

  • Lori, Brookfield 

“Personally, the habits that I learned along with the knowledge I gained about a healthy lifestyle will be with me the rest of my life. Motivation is easy now because we worked very hard to get to this point and don’t want to waste the effort that we have made. I enjoy exercising again and challenging myself physically which I haven’t done in years. This is the best investment I have ever made in myself.”  

  • Don, Brookfield. 

“I wanted to express my deep gratitude to you and for this program. The excellent materials reinforced what I already knew (yet did not fully practice) and offered me many new insights as well. Having a skilled coach to both motivate, encourage, and teach – along with a support group to share ideas and provide accountability – changed my eating habits from emotional to healthy and sustainable. Increased energy, lower blood pressure, excellent cholesterol and blood sugar levels, fewer joint pains were all celebrated with my primary care physician at my last physical. I am now maintaining around 140 pounds (down 35 pounds!) with regular exercise and eating that has become natural and enjoyable. This program has given me the tools to move forward with hope.”   

  • Linda, New Milford 

The Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut is located at 2 Huckleberry Hill Road in Brookfield, CT 06804. For more information, contact Lisa O’Connor, Director of Evidence Based Health Initiatives at 203-775-4444 x 135 or Physician referrals can be securely faxed to Lisa O’Connor at 1.888.974.0262. Call for information on new sessions.  

Contact our Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator with any questions.

Director of Evidence Based Health Initiatives:
Lisa O’Connor
203.775.4444 x 135