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HRRMC Foundation receives grant for diabetes prevention outreach

Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Foundation was one of seven local nonprofit organizations awarded a grant by the Climax Area Community Investment Fund on May 3. The fund supports programs and projects that promote health and wellness.

The $41,500 grant will support a unique partnership between Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Chaffee County and St. Vincent Hospital in Lake County to implement the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), a nationally recognized diabetes prevention program. Education and improved access to quality health care can help individuals at risk for diabetes. The funds will also be used to increase the availability of fitness, nutrition and other health education in the region.

“The National Diabetes Prevention Program is the most effective intervention for lifestyle change that I've seen in my 20-year career,” said HRRMC Wellness Supervisor Jon Fritz. The group class is led by a trained coach and encourages increased activity and decreased caloric intake. “The answers are simple but the process is challenging and that's why trained coaches follow an evidence-based curriculum which has proven effective.”

Chaffee County has had an NDPP program since 2013. Lake County and St. Vincent Hospital have identified diabetes prevention as a focus in their community. HRRMC will offer assistance in starting an NDPP program while expanding classes throughout Chaffee County.

HRRMC Foundation Director Kimla Robinson accepted the award along with Fritz on behalf of the hospital. “We are so honored to receive the Freeport-McMoRan Climax Area Community Investment Fund Grant and partner with St. Vincent Hospital to implement a diabetes prevention program,” she said.

The Climax Area Community Investment Fund was established in 2011 to focus on programs and projects that help create sustainability and reduce dependency on any single industry. Eligible programs and projects include those in the areas of education, community and economic development, environmental stewardship, and health and wellness. A committee comprised of community leaders representing diverse organizations and two Freeport-McMoRan representatives governs the Fund.

For more information on the NDPP program, call the HRRMC Wellness Department at 530-2057.