April 10, 2013
By Stephanie West
(New York, NY) – The Institute For Leadership and the powerful Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY) have partnered with local businesses, unions and community organizations in New York State to launch a program aimed at reducing healthcare costs and promoting early diabetes prevention in the workplace.
The new Labor Fights Diabetes Program will help reduce diabetes-related healthcare costs by giving businesses and unions the opportunity to implement a comprehensive and proven early diabetes detection and prevention program with their employees and members.
The program will be implemented through New York State businesses and labor unions and based on the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) model endorsed by the national Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), officials said
Nationally, diabetes costs have increased to $245 billion in 2012 from $174 billion in 2007 when the statistics were last examined. New York State spends $12.9 billion annually on diabetes-related costs with 1.3 million people living with the disease, according to state health statistics. An estimated 4.2 million New Yorkers, or about 20 percent of the state’s population are pre-diabetic.
Lou Gordon, director of the New York State business and labor advocacy organization with more than 1,000 members, said that in order for businesses to remain globally competitive, they have to find ways to reduce potentially expensive healthcare problems that affect their employee productivity and bottom lines.
“Escalating employee medical costs are a number one concern among many of our union and healthcare members,” Gordon said. “We believe that by working with Reverend Faulkner, we can offer an affordable diabetes workplace prevention program that will keep our members healthy and save them a lot of money.”
Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes and an estimated 79 million adults are pre-diabetic and don’t know it, officials said. Undiagnosed diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart failure and strokes.