Univera Healthcare commits $115,000 to Neighborhood Health Center of WNY, Inc. for new partnership aimed at curbing diabetes prevalence in the region

 Funding for a new program will help screen and educate individuals with diabetes

Buffalo, NY. – Univera Healthcare today announced a grant award in the amount of $115,000 to support Neighborhood Health Center’s new Wellness Department, designed as an extension of the organization’s nutrition service that is aimed at reducing the prevalence of diabetes and obesity among individuals in Erie County through a therapeutic lifestyle change model.

The Univera grant will be dispersed over three years and will provide funding for the creation of the Wellness Department which focuses on health outcomes and self-management education for diabetic patients with a goal to reduce A1C (blood glucose) levels. Additionally, the funding also allows the ability to provide diabetic eye exams across all Neighborhood Health Center offices.

“With this grant to Neighborhood Health Center, we are supporting improved access to diabetic eye screening and education in an effort to reduce the prevalence of diabetes,” said Arthur Wingerter, president, Univera Healthcare.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), eighty-four million Americans have been diagnosed with prediabetes, equaling 1 out of every 3 American adults. Pre-diabetics are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For those diagnosed, however, early treatment of pre-diabetes can return blood sugar levels to a more normal range, hence the importance of early and frequent testing.

The ever-rising epidemic of obesity and diabetes negatively impacts nearly 1,900 Neighborhood Health Center patients to date, a number that has increased 3% from previous years. Through this new Wellness Department launch, Neighborhood Health Center anticipates serving approximately 27,000 patients over the course of the proposed three-year project.

“At Neighborhood Health Center, we know that improving and sustaining health and well-being is connected to innovative education and engagement,” said Joanne Haefner, Chief Executive Officer of Neighborhood Health Center. “We are so thankful to Univera for this added funding and partnership for our new Wellness initiative which compounds a dual effort to reach those with diabetes through programming that encourages individual health behavior interventions and positive lifestyle changes.”

Univera’s grant program embodies the nonprofit health insurer’s mission to reach all segments of the communities it serves, particularly the underserved to enhance their quality of life and health status. Many of the initiatives focus on the prevention, screening, and education of chronic conditions.