eugene ymca press release

YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program class starts Jan. 24 to help participants lower their blood glucose levels, increase physical activity and improve life-long health

Eugene, Jan. 9, 2023—The Eugene Family YMCA announces the start of a year-long Diabetes Prevention Program class in January to make lasting changes for those diagnosed with prediabetes.

Based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the program has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58 percent. The reduction was even greater among adults over 60 years old: 71 percent!

As the only in-person diabetes prevention program in Lane County, it is critical to educate people about the power of this class.

“Participants learn so much from each other,” said Kate Kevern, the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator. “They offer each other tips for making healthier food choices and ways of staying active. The strength of this program lies in the evidence-based curriculum combined with the camaraderie and support of the participants.”

In 2021, 9.4 percent of Lane County’s population had been diagnosed with diabetes, but researchers know that many people live with undiagnosed diabetes and about half of older adults have prediabetes and don’t know it.

The Y’s commitment to healthy living means that it takes on the challenge of helping people reverse their risk of developing diabetes.

Susan, 68, completed her year-long participation in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program in October.

She credited the program with setting her up to keep diabetes at bay: she lost 30 pounds and her blood glucose level dropped.

“I’m out of plus sizes!” she said about her clothing.

Both of Susan’s parents had diabetes, and she noticed that her mother was slower to heal because of the disease. Her father suffered from cardiovascular issues.

“I didn’t want to struggle with the same ailments,” she said. “Even though I don’t typically enjoy being in groups, I gave this group a try. It was nice to be in a group—everyone had great ideas on how to cut fat out of my meals.”

Susan feels confident that she will be able to continue preventing diabetes.

“This program helped me to follow the guidelines,” she said. “I got used to tracking my meals and now I don’t need to use the tracker—I have changed my habits based on what I learned.”

This lifestyle-change program meets weekly for the first four months, then every other week, and finally every third week until the end of the year.

"The goals for each participant are to reduce their body weight by 5 to 7 percent and become physically active for 150 minutes each week," said Kevern. "Participants form strong bonds in their small groups through encouragement and positive reinforcement, creating a supportive environment for continued success."

For the class that ended in December, participants racked up impressive numbers: an average weight loss of 22.6 pounds and an average of 537 minutes of physical activity each week!

YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program Basics

  • What: Participants interact and receive support in a group setting with a trained Lifestyle Coach.
  • Start Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2023
  • Time: 11:30 a.m.
  • Cost: $35.75 per month for 12 months. (Financial assistance available but insurance not accepted).
  • Register: By January 18.
  • Who: Anyone who is 18 years or older; has a BMI of 25 or more (23 if Asian); and has one of the following:
  1. A1c: 5.7%-6.4%
  2. Fasting plasma glucose: 100-125 mg/dL
  3. 2-hour plasma glucose: 140-199 mg/dL
  4. Gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy

Information: Email or call 541-686-9622 or visit

Media inquires, please contact:

Eugene Family YMCA
Beth Casper
503.302.8776 (cell)

About the Y 

The Eugene Family YMCA is one of the region's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Each year across Lane County, the Y engages more than 18,000 people regardless of age, gender, income or background—to nurture the potential of children, teens and seniors; improve health and well-being; and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2021, the Eugene Family YMCA awarded $451,599 in financial assistance. The YMCA has been serving the Eugene-area since 1887.

January 9, 2023