A new health program being rolled out at YMCAs across the country shows the potential for a community-based organization to deliver a nationwide health-care intervention reports the Wall Street Journal.  In the absence of  a national health program, communities across the U.S. are collaborating in new and creative ways to deliver on the promise of optimal health and vitality.

The Y’s target is diabetes. Research has shown that the program, which combines exercise, dieting and individual counseling, can have a big impact in reducing incidences of diabetes.  The Y is already positioned as a community resource offering classes.  The first step toward any meaningful health outcome is awareness. The Y’s programs keep participants attention on the behaviors and beliefs that impact success in achieving and maintaining health targets.

One of the innovative programs used by the Y is provided by Gluco Fit Club.  They have a turnkey program that includes fitness, diet education and measurement tools for monitoring blood sugar.  Feedback is a powerful behavior changer.  Gluco Fit has a number of creative ways to make managing diabetes easy, engaging and effective.

Combining relevant feedback with social networks is a powerful support system for achieving and maintaining health goals. For profit companies and non profit organizations are beginning to leverage that power by including relevant incentives based on performance in achieving health targets. Everybody’s motivated and incentivized toward health.

It’s the effective part of this research that  impresses insurers and employers who increasingly, are providing direct funding as the YMCA seeks to enroll participants in the program and induce them to reach weight-loss target. That’s good news for health provider organizations everywhere. The Y can’t reach everybody.

Managing Diabetes Slide Show