Wellmark Foundation grant
funds statewide pre-diabetes education initiative
Grant, chosen from 150 requests, will help create pre-diabetes
January 24, 2011
(Des Moines, Iowa) – St. Mary’s
Foundation in Pierre, S.D., has received a $24,986, two-year
grant from The Wellmark Foundation to implement a wellness
and diabetes prevention initiative in South Dakota. The South
Dakota Diabetes Coalition (SDDC) will administer and provide
leadership for the collaborative effort.
The Wellmark Foundation is a non-profit foundation that seeks
to improve the health of Iowans, South Dakotans, and their
communities. The Foundation provides support to non-profit
and public entities to help local communities establish or
expand health initiatives. Through its 2010 Healthy Communities
Grant Program, the Foundation received nearly 150 grant requests.
This grant award represents one of the 17 grants competitively
awarded to support projects throughout Iowa and South Dakota.
Cumulatively, The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award $1,334,817
to these 17 grants to serve as catalyst funding for local
“The Wellmark Foundation is proud to support the St.
Mary’s Foundation and South Dakota Diabetes Coalition,”
says Matt McGarvey, the Foundation’s director. “Their
project was competitively selected because of its creative
design to increase pre-diabetes awareness through community
organizations, while also supporting the South Dakota Diabetes
The Pre-Diabetes Community Toolkit will develop and distribute
toolkits to 100 community-based service and social organizations
across South Dakota to increase pre-diabetes awareness among
their members, says Colette Hesla, proposal coordinator for
the South Dakota Diabetes Coalition.
The toolkits will contain DVDs with brief presentations by
health care professionals about implications of pre-diabetes,
diabetes risk factors, how nutrition and physical activity
can prevent type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases, screening
tips and more. Additional toolkit items will include supporting
facilitator information, written take-home materials for members,
pedometers and evaluations. A goal is for this important information
to reach thousands of South Dakotans, facilitating behavior
changes that will improve their health, ultimately decreasing
the number of South Dakotans who progress to type 2 diabetes
and heart disease.
The project will target entities including civic and service
organizations, county extension agents, public libraries,
non-profit organizations and other stakeholder groups. The
short-term goal of the project is to distribute 25 toolkits
by September 2011. The long-term goal is to help support South
Dakota’s Diabetes Strategic Plan objective to increase
public awareness of pre-diabetes risk factors and how nutrition
and physical activity can prevent Type 2 diabetes and other
About the South Dakota Diabetes Coalition
The mission of the South Dakota Diabetes Coalition is to improve
health outcomes of those affected by diabetes in South Dakota.
The group works by bringing together organizations working
with diabetes through the state in four standing committees
in the areas of advocacy, patient education, professional
education, and public awareness. The coalition works to promote
diabetes prevention, education, and general promoting public
awareness of healthier lifestyles.
For more information on the South Dakota Diabetes Coalition,
contact Colette Hesla, (605) 224-0016 / email@example.com.
For more information regarding the Wellmark Foundation and
its grant programs, visit www.wellmark.com/foundation.