Lifestyle Diabetes Program Offered Through Public Health

Men and women sitting in a circle.

(GRINNELL, Iowa – November 4, 2021) Starting this month, Poweshiek County Public Health (PCPH) will offer the PreventT2 program, led by public health nurse Deb Fraker, RN, and UnityPoint Health® - Grinnell registered dietitian, Lily Swedenhjelm, MS, RDN, LD

This diabetes prevention program is brought to you by the Lions Club International Foundation and the Lions Clubs of GrinnellKelloggMontezuma and Victor. PCPH is grateful for the partnership with these local groups and their continued support to better the health of their communities.

During this program individuals will learn the skills they need to make lasting changes such as managing their weight, being more physically active and managing stress. 

People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels — are five to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes can be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within five years. 

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” says Fraker. “The PreventT2 program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

Participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. 

“One of my favorite things about the Prevent T2 program is how it provides a year of support from the coaches and the group,” says Swedenhjelm. “Together, we support each other in making lasting changes in healthy eating and physical activity.” 

This program is designed for those who have prediabetes; it is also open to individuals who are already diagnosed with diabetes and interested in having more support for lifestyle changes. PreventT2 groups meet for a year — weekly for the first six months, then once or twice a month for the second six months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. 

The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.

“Over the course of the year, we navigate through holidays, changing seasons, times when motivation may be low, periods of stress and everything that life can throw at us. Having the consistent support of the group can help everyone find lifestyle changes that work for each person and help them stick with them,” says Swedenhjelm. 

To participate in the PreventT2 program, individuals must meet one of the criteria listed below.

  • 18 years of age and older with a Body Mass Index equal to or greater than 24kg

  • Have prediabetes or diabetes 

  • Have a HbA1C level between 5.7% and 6.4%

  • Have a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes 

For more information about the PreventT2 program or to participate, call (641) 236-2385


About Prevent T2
PreventT2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is proven to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Research shows that modest behavior changes, such as making better food choices and increasing physical activity, reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people at high risk for developing this disease. The National Diabetes Prevention Program brings together federal agencies, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, employers, insurers, health care professionals, academia, and other stakeholders to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes among people with prediabetes.

About Lions Clubs International
Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. More than 1.4 million members in over 48,000 clubs are serving in 200 countries and geographic areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions have strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects, and we extend our service impact through the generous support of our Lions Clubs International Foundation. We are focused on supporting vision, the environment, childhood cancer, hunger, diabetes and other pressing humanitarian needs to help address some of the biggest challenges facing humanity. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit