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Partnering to Prevent: Essentia Health

Melody Jahnk,
Volunteer and Community Health Coordinator
Essentia Health St. Mary's in Detroit Lakes is an 87-bed acute-care facility and clinic facility in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. This Benedictine-sponsored facility has partnered with University of Minnesota Extension to deliver the I CAN Prevent Diabetes (ICANPD) program. ICANPD is one of a few programs that Essentia Health St. Mary's is partnering to deliver in the community to provide preventive services. This 16-week course with eight monthly follow-up sessions was implemented this fall with three different groups.

The I CAN Prevent Diabetes program provides tools for adults to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. One participant said, "I can't believe how much I have learned from this program. It really works. I was at a point in my life where I really needed the program." At the midpoint of core classes, this participant has lost almost all of the weight needed to achieve a goal of seven percent weight loss.

Essentia Health St. Mary's-Detroit Lakes marketed the program to its patients and the community, provided a site to hold the classes, funded the supplies, and funded staff time to deliver one of the groups. Response was high for the program and Essentia plans to continue to partner with Extension to provide the program to the community.

For more information, visit the Essentia Health St. Mary's-Detroit Lakes website or contact LeAnn Mouw, Director of Development and Communications (218-847-0867,

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