Diabetes Education Program Workplace Expanded To Sterling Heights Plant

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Diabetes Care Program

The Chrysler Group announced that it will expand its innovative diabetes care program, "Driving DCX," to its Sterling Heights Assembly plant.

Driving DCX (Diabetes Care eXperts) was piloted at the Auburn Hills headquarters from August 2005 to February 2006 to improve the health and quality of life of employees with diabetes. More than 160 people participated in the pilot.

Chrysler employees learned how to gain control over their cholesterol, BMI and blood glucose levels through meal planning, exercise, prescribed medications and regular medical care.

The pilot program generated impressive results in clinical outcomes and overall health:

- Participants' knowledge about diabetes care increased by 18.6 percent.

- Participants showed statistically significant improvements in controlling their cholesterol and achieving their target Body Mass Index. (BMI is a relationship between body weight and height; a normal value is 25 or less; between 25-30 is considered overweight; above 30 is considered obese.)

- Participants who kept their blood glucose levels at the desired level increased from 68 percent to 77 percent.

Cholesterol, BMI, and glucose levels are major risk factors for serious complications and other diseases. Regular monitoring helps prevent some of the major problems that diabetes can cause, such as blindness, kidney disease and nerve damage.

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Driving DCX was developed in partnership with Henry Ford Health System and Health Alliance Plan to integrate diabetes care within DaimlerChrysler's existing workplace wellness programs.

"The initial phase of our workplace diabetes program - Driving DCX - has been recognized as a genuine success story," said Kate Kohn-Parrott, Chrysler Group Director - Integrated Health Care and Disability. "Chrysler Group is proud to lead the industry in the health awareness and disease management programs it offers its employees."

Following the successful rollout at DaimlerChrysler's headquarters, company health care executives expanded the program to the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. Already 60 employees at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant have signed up to receive their initial health appointments and screenings.

"If you think about it, the average person with diabetes only spends four to six hours per year receiving care at a doctor's office, 2,000 hours per year at their place of employment and about 8,000 hours at home," said Bruce Muma, MD, Medical Director of Chronic Care, Henry Ford Medical Group. "We intend to reduce the burden of this disease by bringing this new approach directly into the workplace."

Core components of Diabetes Care eXperts are:

- Confidential onsite health screening that includes average blood sugar level, cholesterol and blood pressure tests

- Confidential depression screening and follow-up treatment administered by ValueOptions

- Six individual coaching sessions with certified diabetes educators from Henry Ford Medical Group that focus on achieving personal health goals and managing medications and diet to control blood glucose levels

- Incentives - participants will receive gift certificates

The Diabetes Care eXperts program pairs innovative work from Henry Ford Medical Group (HFMG) with the existing workplace wellness infrastructure maintained by StayWell at the Chrysler Group. Novo Nordisk provided the funding support. Health Alliance Plan provides the overall project management.

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