The Y has received a two-year, $860,500 grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) to deliver the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to older adults. The program applies research that has been shown to reduce the number of new type 2 diabetes cases among Medicare-age individuals by nearly 70 percent, also offering the possibility for lowering health care expenditures.

With funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Y will spread the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to 57 local Y associations and enhance the capacity of 173 local Y associations, to reach a total of least 1,124 of each Y's program sites and at least 31,500 adults over the age of 55. Over the two-year grant period, the Y will also work to provide diabetes prevention services to more older adults by advancing policy changes such as  Medicare reimbursement for diabetes prevention programs.

“We are proud to partner with the John A. Hartford Foundation, a leading funder of healthy aging, to address the alarming rates of prediabetes among older adults,” said Jonathan Lever, Vice President for Health Strategy and Innovation for YMCA of the USA. “As a leading voice on improving the nation’s health, the Y has the expertise and infrastructure to reach and support those with prediabetes as they attempt to improve their health. Y's nationwide look forward to working with the John A. Hartford Foundation and others to make this program accessible to as many people as possible.”

Type 2 diabetes is among the most prevalent and fastest growing chronic diseases, particularly among older adults, affecting 10 million older adults and costing Medicare $45 billion annually. Prediabetes affects approximately 50 percent of the population age 65 and older. In the absence of effective intervention, many of those with prediabetes will go on to develop diabetes. 

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a yearlong, group-based program. In a relaxed classroom setting, a trained Lifestyle Coach helps participants learn to incorporate healthy eating, increased physical activity, and other behavior changes into their everyday lives. The program aims to achieve seven percent weight loss and increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program uses a CDC-approved curriculum and is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program.

"Diabetes takes a devastating toll, on our economy and on individual lives, particularly among the large and rapidly growing number of older adults who have other chronic illnesses as well,” said Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, President of the John A. Hartford Foundation. “The good news is how well the Diabetes Prevention Program has been proven to work in the older population. The John A. Hartford Foundation is proud to support the Y in spreading the program to older adults, in YMCA's, senior centers, churches, and other community settings across the nation, through increased training and, in the longer term, through proposed changes to Medicare payment policy."

The John A. Hartford Foundation is partnering with many other funders of the Y in expanding the scale of the Diabetes Prevention Program to start to meet our nation’s need.  “We learned about the program and the work of the Y through our participation in the Social Impact Exchange, sponsored by the Growth Philanthropy Network,” said Christopher A. Langston, PhD, Program Director at the John A. Hartford Foundation. This collaboration of funders is intended to bring together the substantial financial capital necessary to take evidence-based solutions to health care challenges to scale, to be able to serve all those who stand to benefit. “Just as the John A. Hartford Foundation is proud to offer some of the innovations it has nurtured over the years to the Social Impact Exchange, we are excited to learn about new work that will help us advance our mission of improving the health of older Americans.”

Media Contacts:

For the John A. Hartford Foundation
Marcus Escobedo, Senior Program Officer

For the Y
Ryu Mizuno, Senior Director External Relations

About the John A. Hartford Foundation
The John A. Hartford Foundation is a private philanthropy working to improve the health of older Americans. After three decades of championing research and education in geriatric medicine, nursing, and social work, today the Foundation pursues opportunities to put geriatrics expertise to work in all health care settings. This includes advancing practice change and innovation, supporting team-based care through interdisciplinary education of all health care providers, supporting policies and regulations that promote better care, and developing and disseminating new evidence-based models that deliver better, more cost-effective health care. The Foundation was established by John A. Hartford. Mr. Hartford and his brother, George L. Hartford, both former chief executives of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, left the bulk of their estates to the Foundation upon their deaths in the 1950’s. For more information, please visit

About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.