Diabetes program yields results for CSA clients

Community Services Agency’s Challenge Diabetes Program, funded by El Camino Hospital for the past four years, aims to improve the health of vulnerable members of the community who are diabetic or prediabetic.

The program includes clients at CSA, West Valley Community Services and Sunnyvale Community Services.

This year’s program produced the following results.

• Sixty-nine participants who started the program two to three years ago with A1Cs (average blood sugar level over the previous three months) in the diabetic or prediabetic range maintained healthy A1Cs.

• Sixty-four participants (21%) moved from either the diabetic or prediabetic range to the healthy range in the past nine months.

• Clients in the prediabetic range decreased by 22%.

• Clients in the diabetic range decreased by 36%.

• Clients in the healthy range now total 133, an increase of 93%  

• A total of 44% of clients in the program, all of whom were diabetic or prediabetic prior to program participation, are now in the healthy range.

The Challenge Diabetes Program includes free diabetes screenings, consultations with dietitians, nutrition and exercise classes, educational materials and nutritious groceries provided by Second Harvest Food Bank.

“Due to this program, I don’t eat as much junk food because I have good food to eat – and that helps a lot,” said program client Linda M. (whose last name was withheld for privacy reasons). “I went from a 6.2 A1C to 5.2 over the last nine months, and my cholesterol is also way down.”

According to Challenge Diabetes Program coordinator Lisa Vergati, low-income individuals are especially vulnerable to chronic conditions such as diabetes because of reduced access to healthy foods.

“The clients are so grateful for this program because they are getting nutritious food along with the information and encouragement they need to improve and manage their health,” she said.

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