Safeway Inc. plans to join the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), giving its customers in select markets access to the Alliance’s community-based programs that use proven approaches to help prevent and control diabetes.
Safeway is currently offering the Diabetes Control Program at stores in Tucson, Ariz., and in the future will include Seattle-area stores. The company joins UnitedHealth Group, the YMCA, Walgreen’s, Novo Nordisk and others as Alliance partners.
“Safeway continues to be a leader in advancing innovative solutions to help our customers live healthier lives, and providing tools and services to prevent disease,” said Darren Singer, Safeway SVP of pharmacy, health and wellness. “Diabetes continues to take a devastating toll on families and communities, and through Safeway’s participation in the DPCA, we are helping provide greater access to care for our customers and helping them manage and take control of this disease.”
Safeway will participate in the Alliance’s Diabetes Control Program, which provides patient education and support from trained pharmacists to help people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing complications, such as cardiovascular, kidney and eye disease. In-store pharmacists in select Safeway locations will conduct blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure testing services for program participants and provide them with on-the-spot results, enabling patients to get immediate feedback on their status or progress in managing their diabetes.
UnitedHealth Group created the Alliance to help address the growing epidemic of pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes, which threaten to affect more than half of all Americans by 2020 at an annual cost of $500 billion if current trends continue, according to a recent report from the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.
The Diabetes Control Program provides individuals with diabetes access to trained pharmacists and nurse practitioners who provide personalized coaching and counseling in the convenient setting of a local pharmacy, and help patients improve adherence to their physicians’ treatment plans. The goal is for patients to improve blood glucose control – every percentage-point drop in HbA1c levels, a commonly used blood glucose marker, reduces by 40 percent the risk of developing complications from diabetes, which include heart disease, nerve disease, blindness and limb amputations.
The DPCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, offered in conjunction with the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, is a group-based intervention that helps people who are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes prevent the disease through modest weight loss promoted through healthy eating, increased physical activity and other lifestyle changes. The program consists of 16 core sessions, followed by monthly maintenance sessions for up to a year. Classes are led by a trained lifestyle coach who facilitates a small group of people in helping them learn about behavior changes that help reduce risk for Type 2 diabetes.
The YMCA and DPCA Diabetes Prevention Programs are part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-led National Diabetes Prevention Program, which is designed to bring evidence-based lifestyle interventions to communities by working through organizations and third-party payers who adhere to CDC-recognized, evidence-based standards.