Increasing Enrollment in the National Diabetes Prevention Program

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Submission Date: November 2019

State/Territory Submitted on the Behalf of: Alaska

States/Territories Involved: Alaska

Funding Source: CDC, NACDD

CDC Funding:


CDC Funding (Specified):

Other CDC Funding

Other Funding:

NACDD funding

Domain Addressed:

Health Systems Strategies

Public Health Issue:

Diabetes is serious, controllable and preventable. Diabetes is among Alaska’s leading causes of death and disease. It can increase the likelihood of heart disease and stroke. It can lead to significant disability, including blindness, amputations, and kidney failure. During 2016 in Alaska, diabetes contributed to the need for services in 70,487 hospital visits. Prediabetes, a health condition involving blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, can be reversed with a few lifestyle changes before it develops into type 2 diabetes. A whopping 90% of people who have prediabetes are not aware that they do. Left untreated, up to one-third of people with prediabetes will progress to diabetes within 5 years.

Program Action:

Obtaining provider referrals to the telephonic National DPP is key to increasing enrollment. However, conducting outreach activities with health care providers is notoriously difficult. Initial efforts to engage directly with providers via email, phone calls, and in-person meetings was unproductive, so a different approach to reaching them had to be implemented.

Funding for this project came from NACDD, which was awarded a five-year cooperative agreement from CDC (DP17-1705) to scale the National DPP in underserved areas. This allowed Alaska’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program to partner with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to recruit participants for a telephonic National DPP in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

To increase enrollment, a local champion was identified to conduct outreach to their organization’s providers within four health care organizations in the Borough: South Peninsula Hospital and Central Peninsula Hospital (two largest health care organizations in Kenai Peninsula Borough), Homer Medical Center and Peninsula Internal Medicine (two smaller health care organizations). Methods of information distribution used by the champions varied, including presentations at regular provider meetings, mass emails to providers, and one-on-one interactions.


Provider referrals to the telephonic National DPP came from the four health care organizations in the Kenai Peninsula Borough where local champions were established. Partner involvement is key. The partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has proven valuable, as participation in the program continues to increase.

Program Areas:


State Contact Information:

Mary Schneider
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health

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