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UPMC Health Plan and Heritage Valley Health System Combine Resources in 'LifeSmart,' A Community Initiative Designed to Prevent Diabetes
Date:2/12/2008

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- UPMC Health Plan and Heritage Valley Health System are combining resources to introduce an initiative designed to help prevent diabetes in the communities served by Heritage Valley Health System.

The initiative -- known as "UPMC Health Plan Presents: Heritage Valley LifeSmart" -- is designed to identify persons at risk for diabetes, link them to a primary care physician, and provide them with the kind of support they need to keep from getting the disease in the future. Heritage Valley physicians will help screen UPMC Health Plan members and then direct them to specially designed support programs.

"The rise of diabetes in Western Pennsylvania and throughout the United States makes this kind of program timely as well as necessary," said Diane P. Holder, president of UPMC Health Plan. "It is the kind of community health initiative that we continue to support throughout the region."

UPMC Health Plan will contribute $100,000 to Heritage Valley Health System for the program. That amount is matched by two $50,000 donations from the foundations that support Heritage Valley's hospitals in Sewickley and Beaver -- the Sewickley Valley Hospital Foundation and The Medical Center Foundation.

At-risk members will be asked to join one of several healthy lifestyle interventions, such as the Group Lifestyle Balance Program, a modification of the University of Pittsburgh's Diabetes Prevention Program. This program includes instruction on making healthy food choices, increasing physical activity, and developing problem-solving skills. Other programs include smoking cessation, exercise and fitness, and individual nutrition education.

"The focus of LifeSmart will be on increasing community health efforts and creating an initiative in partnership with other community organizations," said Norman F. Mitry, president and CEO, Heritage Valley Health System.

Several community employers, including Blackhawk Sch
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SOURCE UPMC Health Plan
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