Hospital diabetes prevention program now offered to Ulster residents

Posted: 10/28/2020

Northern Dutchess Hospital will bring its CDC-awarded National Prediabetes Prevention Program to the Ulster County area via virtual learning, beginning Nov. 17.

 Hospital lifestyle coaches Roufia Payman, a nutrition counselor, and Anne Rabbitt, a registered dietitian, will teach people who are overweight with high blood sugar levels how to make small changes that lead to better health without dieting or gym memberships.

 Participants will meet virtually on 16 weekly consecutive Mondays and six bi-monthly follow-ups. The hourlong class is offered at 5:30 p.m. Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the program will be housed at the Nuvance Health Multispecialty Center, 1240 Ulster Avenue, Kingston. The hospital has taught this program since 2014 at its Rhinebeck campus and was recently recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for achieving good outcomes with participant attendance and weight loss.

 With 60 pounds to lose, high cholesterol and high blood sugars, Joanne Valeo of Poughkeepsie decided to sign up, but wasn’t looking forward to driving to Rhinebeck every week.

 “Turns out, I never missed a meeting,” she said. “I’m enthusiastic about it because I’ve seen such great results.” The two-time cancer survivor said her blood sugar levels and cholesterol numbers are the best they have ever been and she feels healthier.

 “I had coronavirus. I’m pushing 70 and at my age, that could have turned out worse than it did,” she said. “Without the sugars and carbs, I just feel like my immune system was able to fight better.”

 To register, contact the nutrition department at or (845) 871-3318 (TTY: 800-421-1220).  Space is limited and registration is required by Nov. 10.

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