KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Merck Foundation and YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) announced today that the Merck Foundation has provided a grant of $2 million over three years to support efforts to expand the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (YMCA’s DPP). This evidence-based, chronic disease prevention program aims to improve the health of participants with prediabetes through modest weight loss achieved by healthy eating and physical activity. The grant supports the program’s expansion in 60 communities across five states – Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas.
The YMCA’s DPP, part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a lifestyle behavior intervention program that includes 25 sessions delivered over 12 months in a small group setting. Programs like the YMCA’s DPP have shown a 58- to 71-percent reduction in the prevention or delay of new cases of type 2 diabetes in adults over 60.
“Diabetes is a serious and growing public health issue in the United States, and people with prediabetes have an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Community-based, lifestyle intervention programs, like the YMCA’s DPP, address health care gaps to help those at risk make changes to improve their health,” said Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, chief patient officer, Merck and chief executive officer, Merck Foundation. “We are proud to partner with the Y-USA to implement innovative and highly effective approaches to prevent type 2 diabetes.”
According to the CDC, an estimated 29 million people are living with diabetes in the United States. Additionally, 15 to 30 percent of the estimated 86 million people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years unless they make changes to improve their health.
“We are honored to partner with the Merck Foundation to address the rising diabetes epidemic which costs the nation $245 billion annually,” said Dr. Matt Longjohn, national health officer, Y-USA. “As one of the leading community-based charities committed to improving America’s health, this grant will extend the Y’s reach and help reduce health disparities in five states with high rates of type 2 diabetes.”
The YMCA’s DPP in Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, will receive funding over three years to establish community outreach programs, and will source local funders and payors, as well as establish partnerships to ensure the program becomes embedded into the local communities for long-term success.
Participants in the expanded program will have the opportunity to join more than 46,000 peers and 4,000 health coaches in existing networks across 47 states – amounting to the largest in-person delivery of quality interventions in the United States.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. In the United States, 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. For more information, visit www.ymca.net.
About the Merck Foundation
The Merck Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by Merck, a global health care leader, the Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is Merck’s chief source of funding support to qualified non-profit charitable organizations. Since its inception, the Merck Foundation has contributed more than $844 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs and are consistent with Merck’s overall mission to help the world be well. For more information, visit www.merckgiving.com.