Amerigroup Provides Grant for YMCA Diabetes Prevention Programs in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Amerigroup Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to the YMCA of
Greater New Orleans to sponsor the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program that
will be offered through the YMCA of the Capital Area in Baton Rouge and
the YMCA of Greater New Orleans. These programs are available to adults
who are overweight and at risk of developing diabetes. Each program will
last 12 months and will offer 16 weekly core sessions, supplemented by
bi-monthly sessions. Participants will meet in a supportive environment
and work together in small groups to learn how to eat healthier and
increase their physical activity to reduce their risk of developing
diabetes. Their goals will be to reduce their weight by at least seven
percent, maintain that reduced weight and gradually increase physical
activity to a minimum of 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. “By sponsoring this life-changing program, Amerigroup is
empowering Louisianans to lay the groundwork for healthier futures.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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. Additionally, diabetes is the leading cause of
kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputation and new cases of
blindness among adults in the United States.

“New data from Gallup-Healthways shows us that Baton Rouge’s 35.9
percent obesity rate is the highest among America’s 100 largest metro
areas; and only 10 percent of these obese individuals know that they
have prediabetes and are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes,
heart disease and stroke,” said Bob Jacobs, president and CEO, YMCA of
the Capital Area. “We thank Amerigroup for bringing the YMCA Diabetes
Prevention Program to those who need it most and helping to improve
health outcomes in our community.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based program that
has been proven to prevent or delay new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58
percent—and as much as 71 percent in adults over the age of 60. Program
design is based on a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
that was conducted with support from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC). The study demonstrated how eating healthier,
increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight could
lead to better health and an overall reduction of new type 2 diabetes

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. New Orleans and Baton Rouge area residents
who would like to learn more about this program and find out if they
qualify to participate can visit
or contact Kayne Daigle at 504-224-5813 ext. 109 or
This program is also offered in 41 states through more than a 1,000
different locations. For more information, visit


The Amerigroup Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Amerigroup, a
wholly owned subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. Together, with local, regional
and national organizations, the Amerigroup Foundation works to enhance
the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities
that Amerigroup and its affiliated health plans serve. Amerigroup
Foundation funding is focused on strategic initiatives working to
address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as
well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational
initiative with five areas of focus: Healthy Heart, Cancer Prevention,
Healthy Maternal Practices, Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, and Healthy
Active Lifestyle. These disease states and medical conditions include:
prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac
morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase
physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult
pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The
Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving
program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign
pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers
community service programs. To learn more about the Amerigroup
Foundation, please visit


The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening
communities through youth development, healthy living and social
responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 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.


Denise Malecki

Kristen Hogan