DuBOIS — Penn Highlands Healthcare has launched a year-long weight loss and diabetes prevention program at no cost to participants, accessible online for the first time. The Hope 80/20 program is made possible through the local health system’s partnership with the Health Promotion Council.

Available to participants throughout our region, the Penn Highlands Healthcare Hope 80/20 program will offer a limited number of participants education and motivation to help improve their health within the privacy of their own homes.

“The live cohorts we’ve offered in recent years have been popular, but at this time, the virtual opportunity is a welcome alternative,” says Jeril Goss, manager of the Diabetes and Nutrition Wellness Center at Penn Highlands Healthcare. “This will offer our participants convenience, as the course can be viewed anytime, anywhere.”

Goss says an added benefit of the online venue is that “participants’ families can follow along with the primary enrolled individual.” In specific, Goss notes that she hopes new mothers who have dealt with gestational diabetes will enroll. “They’re at such great risk to develop diabetes within five to 10 years,” Goss says. “This program helps to get that in check.”

Thanks to a grant from the Health Promotion Council, the Hope 80/20 program comes at no cost to those who meet the criteria to enroll (without the grant, the per-person fee would be $500). Hope 80/20 offers 22 videos that educate participants about the physical, psychological and emotional factors that cause weight problems, while it also provides meal plans and physical activity guidelines. Similar programs offered by the Penn Highlands Diabetes and Nutrition Wellness Center have supported pre-diabetic individuals in cutting their risk for getting Type II diabetes by more than half.

Participants may enroll through the end of September or until all spots are occupied, whichever is sooner. The simple, online enrollment process takes as little as two minutes. Eligible participants qualify for a number of health-related criteria and are asked to commit at least 30-40 minutes per week to consuming the on-demand videos and learning principles to make positive, lasting change. Anyone interested may complete the short survey to determine eligibility and enroll at https://hope8020.com/pennhighlands/.

To learn more about the Diabetes and Nutrition Wellness Center at Penn Highlands Healthcare, please visit https://www.phhealthcare.org/diabetes.

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