Local Provider of Diabetes Prevention Program Shifts to Online in Putnam and Dutchess


Brewster NY – When the Coronavirus Pandemic and New York State’s stay-at-home order hit the Hudson Valley just about everything local got canceled. Offices, non-profit organizations, day programs, senior centers, and recreation centers sent staff home and locked their offices up for the duration.


Putnam Independent Living Services (PILS) reacted swiftly and staff was assigned to work-from-home. No contact became the new normal. For participants in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) it meant a shift in their normal face-to-face meetings to conference calls and online distance learning. Two workshops made the transition and a third started, during the quarantine, virtually.


Although the classroom space is now the internet the message is the same. It is possible for individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes or who are pre-diabetic to, through the DPP, lower their risk and potentially avoid the progression to diabetes.


Throughout the program participants work with a trained Life Style Coach and, following the Center for Disease Control’s curriculum, develop new strategies to eat healthy, be more active and reduce stress. The program helps members be more physically active and to see physical activity in a different, positive way. They learn that there are many ways to stay active, even without leaving the house!


Dutchess and Putnam County residents like the convenience of distance learning. Lifestyle Coach, Lonna Kelly said “People who were having difficulty fitting the DPP into their schedule are finding it more doable when the commute to the program is a walk to their computer.”


Kelly is reaching out to community agencies, libraries, employers, and more, to virtually partner with PILS on the program and invite their members, consumers, and friends to sign up. A new program will be getting underway in the fall. Virtual hosts and participants are invited to visit

https://www.putnamils.org/diabetes-prevention-program/ or https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/index.html for more information or email Lkelly@putnamils.org.


Putnam Independent Living Services (PILS) is the Putnam County arm of Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC) a nonprofit, community-based; consumer-directed organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. PILS has provided advocacy and outreach in Putnam for over 10 years. WILC has a 30-year history of providing information, services, advocacy, technical assistance, and training in the Lower Hudson Valley Region to diverse and/or underserved populations. We work to promote independent living for people with disabilities and  work within the community to provide education, disability awareness, and advocacy for the removal of barriers.