Southeast community photo gallery for Sept. 10, 2015 _lowres

Photo provided by Kristen Hogan -- Attending the check presentation for a diabetes education grant Aug. 31 at the A.C. Lewis YMCA are, from left, Dr. Raymond Poliquit, FAAP medical director of Medicaid; Kathy Victorian, Amerigroup community outreach manager; Kristy McKearn, Amerigroup vice president of government relations; Sonya Nelson, president of Amerigroup Louisiana; Dickie Patterson, attorney, Baker Donelson; Kayne Daigle, YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program regional director; Bob Jacobs, president/CEO of YMCA of the Capital Area; and Lance Kinchen, YMCA of the Capital Area board chairman.

The Amerigroup Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Amerigroup, has awarded a $25,000 grant to sponsor the YMCA Diabetes Prevention programs that will be offered through the YMCA of the Capital Area in Baton Rouge, a news release said.

The programs are available to adults who are overweight and at risk of developing diabetes. Each program lasts 12 months and will offer 16 weekly core sessions, followed by monthly sessions.

Participants will work together in small groups to learn how to eat healthier and increase their physical activity to reduce their risk of developing diabetes, the release said. Their goals will be to reduce their weight by at least 7 percent, maintain that reduced weight and gradually increase physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week.

“Diabetes education is the cornerstone of diabetes management, and it gives people the power to control their health, so disease doesn’t end up controlling them,” said Sonya Nelson, president of Amerigroup Louisiana.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 11 percent of adults in Louisiana have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death among Louisiana residents, and Louisiana’s death rate from diabetes is the second-highest in the nation. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputation and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.

Adults who are overweight, at least 18 years old and at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes may be eligible to participate in the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. Visit, call Kayne Daigle at (504) 224-5813, ext. 109, or email kayned@ymca