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November is American Diabetes Month

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
November 6, 2012
Ken Windows, program participant, receives an A1C test from Melissa Snyder, LPN, at the Laurel Health Center in Lawrenceville.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation Funds Diabetes Care Management for Tioga County’s Uninsured

Wilkes-Barre, PA – November is American Diabetes Month, and The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) is helping North Penn Comprehensive Health Services meet the needs of un- and underinsured diabetics in Tioga County.

According to the American Diabetes Association, one in every ten adults in Pennsylvania has diabetes.  Nationwide, nearly 26 million children and adults live with the disease, and if current trends continue, as many as one in three U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050.

The Foundation’s grant of $10,000, awarded in May, is helping North Penn address diabetes locally through its Diabetes Care Management Project. The goal is to help participants increase compliance with recommended testing, improve diabetes self-management and minimize diabetes-related health effects.

"All our clinics are grateful to The Blue Ribbon Foundation for providing funding that allows us to offer free Hemoglobin A1c testing in our Health Centers,” said Ferlin Patrick, Director of Physician Practices, North Penn Comprehensive Health Services.  “Having test results at the point of care allows patients and our health care providers to better develop and coordinate plans for managing diabetes."

In addition to purchasing A1c test kits for 400 current or yet-to-be diagnosed patients, The Foundation’s grant enables all participants to meet with North Penn’s Certified Diabetes Educator to learn more about behavior modifications such as healthy eating, being active, and reducing risks to better manage their diabetes.

“Our grant to the Diabetes Care Management Project is a great example of how we at BCNEPA partner with community nonprofits to address some of the most pressing health issues facing our region today,” said Cynthia A. Yevich, The Blue Ribbon Foundation’s Executive Director.

For more information about the Diabetes Care Management Project, contact North Penn at 570-723-0500.

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves.

BCNEPA established its private, nonprofit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long-term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.  During its first decade of service, The Foundation has awarded nearly $10 million in grant funding to 170 nonprofits to help meet the health and wellness needs of more than 186,000 at-risk individuals.