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UnitedHealth Group Inc. : Winn-Dixie Joins Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance to Help Tackle National Diabetes Crisis

01/10/2012 | 08:35am US/Eastern
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Pharmacists at 29 select Winn-Dixie stores in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa to help Diabetes Control Program participants learn to better manage their disease

Winn-Dixie is joining the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), an initiative aimed at tipping the scales against the epidemic of diabetes, prediabetes and obesity by expanding access to community-based programs that use evidence-based approaches to help prevent and control diabetes.

Trained Winn-Dixie pharmacists in 29 select Winn-Dixie stores in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa will support patients enrolled in the Alliance's Diabetes Control Program to help people with diabetes learn to better manage their condition and adhere to their physicians' recommendations. Winn-Dixie pharmacists will provide patient education and support to help people with diabetes better control the disease and reduce the risk of developing complications, such as cardiovascular, kidney and eye disease. After an initial visit, in-store pharmacists in the select Winn-Dixie locations will provide quarterly consultations to enrolled patients to evaluate their success in adhering to prescribed diabetes regimens and review patients' test results for blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol.

"Diabetes is an epidemic that affects millions of people across the country," said John Fegan, Winn-Dixie vice president, Pharmacy. "By joining the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, Winn-Dixie is able to offer participating patients the support and resources they need to help them tackle this disease and improve their health."

Winn-Dixie joins UnitedHealth Group, the Y, Walgreens, Novo Nordisk, Albertsons, Kroger and others as Alliance partners.

"We welcome Winn-Dixie as a new Alliance partner and look forward to working together to help people in Florida and across the country learn how to take control of their diabetes and improve their health," said Deneen Vojta, M.D., senior vice president, UnitedHealth Group and chief clinical officer of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. "The DPCA programs have been proven to make an impact on the nation's diabetes epidemic, and new partners like Winn-Dixie are helping to broaden the reach of these programs to help individuals, families and communities live healthier lives."

The rate of diabetes in Florida has doubled over the past 15 years, rising from 5.7 percent in 1995 to 9.9 percent currently, and ranking Florida in the top 10 states in the country, according to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. According to the Florida Department of Health, diabetes costs the state an estimated $8.7 billion annually.

UnitedHealth Group created the Alliance, in partnership with the YMCA and retail pharmacies, to help address the epidemic of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. According to a report from the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, if current trends continue, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes will affect more than half of all Americans at an annual cost of $500 billion within the next decade.

There are two main components to the Alliance: the Diabetes Control Program, designed to reduce health complications among people with diabetes; and the Diabetes Prevention Program, which seeks to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes among people who are at higher risk for the disease.

Diabetes Control Program: Reducing Dangerous, Costly Diabetes Complications
The Diabetes Control Program provides individuals with diabetes access to trained pharmacists who provide personalized coaching and counseling to help improve adherence to treatment plans. Face-to-face consultations with community pharmacists have proved effective in controlling diabetes and other chronic diseases. The goal of the Control Program is for patients to lower their blood glucose and HbA1c levels, an indicator of glucose management.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), every percentage point drop in HbA1c correlates to a 40-percent decreased risk of developing complications from diabetes such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and limb amputations.

About Winn-Dixie
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. is one of the nation's largest food retailers. Founded in 1925, the Company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. The Company currently operates approximately 480 retail grocery locations, including approximately 380 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. For more information, please visit www.winndixie.com.

About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit www.unitedhealthgroup.com for more information.

About the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA)
The Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance is an employer- and community-based initiative aimed at tipping the scales against type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and obesity. Launched in April 2010 by UnitedHealth Group, with support from the Y and retail pharmacies, the DPCA is anchored by two innovative programs: the Diabetes Prevention Program, offered through the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led National Diabetes Prevention Program and designed to help people at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes prevent or delay the disease through modest weight loss promoted by healthy eating, increased activity, and other lifestyle changes; and the Diabetes Control Program, which provides individuals with diabetes access to trained pharmacists who provide personalized coaching and counseling to help improve adherence to treatment plans. Since its launch, the DPCA has expanded to include partnerships with Walgreens, Albertsons, Kroger, Novo Nordisk, Rite Aid and Home Healthcare Laboratory of America (HHLA), a subsidiary of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings. DPCA programs are available in 46 markets in 23 states and the District of Columbia and will continue to roll out in additional cities across the country through 2012.

UnitedHealth Group
Lynne High
952-992-5708
Lynne_m_high@uhc.com
or
Winn-Dixie
Eric Barnes
904-370-7715
ericbarnes@winn-dixie.com


© Business Wire 2012
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