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Preventing and Managing Diabetes and Chronic Health Conditions


July 20, 2020 - <>,


  • Helping prevent and manage diabetes and other chronic conditions.
  • Improving quality of life.
  • Boosting confidence to handle chronic health symptoms and pain.
  • Increasing knowledge of healthy food choices.

To support programming on chronic health and diabetes prevention and management, contact Cheryl Eschbach at To bring this programming to your community, contact Laura Anderson at (diabetes management) or Christi Demitz at (management of chronic health conditions).


As a result of MSU Extension’s chronic health and diabetes prevention and management programming, adults across Michigan took better control over their chronic conditions, decreased their risk of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle and behavior changes (for example, increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes a week), and increased their knowledge of healthy habits. 


Living with chronic diseases can be extremely tough, as 6 in 10 Americans know all too well. MSU Extension’s Personal Action Towards Health (PATH) programming helps people across Michigan who are living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, arthritis and chronic pain. The program is available in three specialized tracks: Chronic Disease PATH, Chronic Pain PATH and Diabetes PATH. (The American Diabetes Association identifies Diabetes PATH as meeting its Diabetes Support Initiative criteria, a measure indicating high-quality, research-based programming.)

In PATH workshops, participants learn important skills such as goal setting, dealing with pain and fatigue, communicating with health care professionals and managing medications. Learning these skills helps equip participants to face the daily challenges of living with chronic conditions.

One 2019 participant signed up for a Chronic Pain PATH workshop in her community after attending an MSU Extension Matter of Balance class. By the end of the sixweek PATH workshop, the participant reported she had almost eliminated the use of her pain medication to control her chronic condition. She was even able to decline a new prescription pain medication offered by her doctor at a recent visit in favor of a nonpharmaceutical treatment. In 2019, 81% of participants in PATH programming reported reducing or maintaining the amount of pain medication they took.


In 2016 (the most recent data available), about 1 in 10 Michigan adults age 18 and up was living with diabetes. MSU Extension’s Dining With Diabetes program series can help those living with the condition, those trying to prevent it, and their friends and family members learn about the role nutrition can play in managing diabetes.

The Dining With Diabetes program is offered exclusively by state Cooperative Extension services in the U.S. The handson, interactive program helps people with prediabetes, type 1 or type 2 diabetes and members of their support systems learn cooking skills and strategies to better manage, prevent or delay diabetes and related complications.

In 2019, about 325 participants from 28 Michigan counties took Dining With Diabetes classes offered by MSU Extension, learning diabetes management skills through cooking demonstrations and healthy recipe tasting.


About 1 in 3 Americans is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but the disease’s onset can be delayed or even prevented with healthy lifestyle modifications. The Diabetes Prevention Program can help people who are at risk of developing diabetes make the changes they need to avoid the disease altogether.

MSU Extension works with health care partners across the state to identify and recruit potential participants who would benefit from taking the class. In 2019, MSU Extension received full recognition from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the Diabetes Prevention Program.

The program teaches participants how to improve their diets and increase their physical activity. Participants have reported positive health changes as a result of the program, such as getting off blood pressure medication and losing weight.

People who are at risk of developing diabetes or who are prediabetic learn to make changes through the program that can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% — saving lives, reducing disabilities and lowering health care costs.



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