First Mile Care is a company dedicated to chronic disease care and prevention that works with physicians and communities throughout the U.S. to reduce prediabetes rates. First Mile Care delivers the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a proven method of reducing diabetes incidence rates, and The Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR) works with them and health centers to increase bi-directional referral.
“Our goal is to halve the 96M Americans with prediabetes by 2028 by scaling the CDC’s proven Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP),” said Karl Ronn, founder and CEO of First Mile Care. “The DPP is a year-long, lifestyle change program clinically proven to stop the onset of type 2 diabetes. Less than 5% of Americans with prediabetes have a program within 10 minutes of home. We are committed to making the DPP more accessible by creating a nationwide network of First Mile Care DPP coaches.”
CHPPR is also working with First Mile Care to pilot an adapted diabetes prevention program aimed at increasing enrollment and adherence in Houston, TX. The Sustainable Culturally Adapted Nutrition (SCAN) program, developed as part of CHPPR’s “Improving the Health of Americans through Prevention and Management of Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke” project, integrates the DPP and a food prescription framework with the goal of increasing patient adherence and program retention. For the pilot program, CHPPR and First Mile Care work with participants from the HOPE Clinic.
First Mile Care also partners with physicians in the greater San Francisco, Detroit/Ann Arbor, and Syracuse areas, and has plans to expand further. The organization works with these physicians to build out capacity, do the education and recruitment, hire and certify local coaches in the DPP, run the programs, and do the required reporting.
They also work to enable personalized support and guidance at the community level by training local coaches and giving participants access to tools and resources that help them build healthy habits that lead to sustainable lifestyle change to reverse prediabetes. Many First Mile Care participants see lower A1C levels and blood pressure, and substantial weight loss. Some participants are even cleared to stop taking their diabetes medication.
“From a habit-change perspective, seeing a physician a few times a year is not enough,” said Ronn. “Our hyperlocal approach focuses on building healthy habits from a community level. Participants encourage each other in their journey to sustainable lifestyle change. This approach really works as it is slow and steady, focused on the group's successes and implementing behavioral changes. We provide the building blocks to maintain good health not only during the program, but for the long term.”
The "Improving the Health of Americans through Prevention and Management of Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke" project is funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services DSHS. First Mile Care is a spinout of Health2047, the Silicon Valley-based innovation subsidiary of the American Medical Association. Learn more on the First Mile Care website.