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Northern Montana Health Care Offering 2nd Session of “Healthy Lifestyles” – A Diabetes Prevention Program

Havre, Montana – Hi-Line Community members are again being offered a chance to prevent type 2 diabetes with the Healthy Lifestyle change program being offered by Northern Montana Hospital (NMH) for the 2nd year. Guided by trained lifestyle coaches, participants will be able to learn the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress. This class will also be beneficial to Montanans with increased cardio-vascular risks.

“We’re entering the 9th month of the 2019 session,” said Susan Morgan, RN, Director of Clinic Nursing at NMH. “We started with 25 participants and will be finishing the year with 17 with a combined weight loss of 260 lbs. thus far in the class. We’re so thrilled to be able to offer this class again to the residents of the Hi-Line as it can change lives.”

People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels — are 5 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 5 years.

This Diabetes Prevention Program is based on research that showed that people with prediabetes who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) by making modest changes reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

Participants in the 2019 session have learned 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. The program’s group setting has provided a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants have celebrated their successes and found ways to overcome obstacles.

One of this year’s participants had this to say about the program and its leaders, “When I look through the written information you gave us in the beginning, I see information on how to track food, how to track exercise, how to cook more healthful, and how to make better food choices. Nowhere in the literature do I see anything about how my self-esteem has grown. How I now feel that taking charge of my health is not only possible – it’s happening.”

“Healthy Lifestyle” is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The local program meets at Northern Montana Hospital, and costs $150 for the year. Ms. Morgan is taking names for the new session that starts in January 2020 at this time.

To participate in the “Healthy Lifestyle” program, individuals must meet the eligibility criteria and be referred by their current Primary Care Provider. Primary Care Providers at the Northern Montana Family Medical Center and the Northern Montana Specialty Medical Center have the applicable forms for referrals. Call (406) 265-5408 or (406) 265-7831 for an appointment. To learn more about the program, call Susan Morgan, RN at (406) 262-1586, or visit, and/or].

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