BayCare, YMCA Team Up to Fight Diabetes

June 11, 2015
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 11, 2015) – BayCare Health System and the YMCA have teamed up to prevent diabetes through education, activity and maintenance. Year-long YMCA Diabetes Prevention Programs are set to begin at Mease Dunedin Hospital on Monday, June 22 at 10:30 a.m. and in the St. Anthony’s Hospital LifeHelp Diabetes and Nutrition Center on Monday, June 29 at 1 p.m. 

“We know that more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes and another 86 million are pre-diabetic. We must act to prevent this disease which has become so prevalent in our society,” said Teresa Bradley, M.D., of St. Anthony’s Physician Development, who worked with the YMCA to bring the classes to St. Anthony’s. “The YMCA program provides tools to reduce the risk for diabetes and information needed to stay on track at the end of the 16 weeks.”

The program begins with 16 one-hour classes in which a YMCA lifestyle coach discusses the importance of eating healthy, exercise and other key lifestyle changes that are necessary for success, said Kieran Gabel, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg Diabetes Prevention Program director. After the weekly classes end, participants continue to meet once a month for eight months to discuss maintenance strategies.  

Thomas Robison, M.D., a BayCare Medical Group primary care physician, has referred dozens of patients to the YMCA program. “When I see a patient who is pre-diabetic and who has the proper mindset to work in this program, I advise them to do it,” Dr. Robison said. “For so many people, this program can start them on the right track before I have to prescribe medication. Making some simple lifestyle changes can help prevent this disease.”

The YMCA program is a covered benefit through many health insurance providers. However, if insurance does not cover the cost, payment plans and scholarships are available.

To find out more about the program being offered through the YMCA of the Suncoast at Mease Dunedin, please call (727) 379-2473. For more information on the program offered by YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg at St. Anthony’s, please call (727) 697-7155. To see if you are at risk of diabetes, take the seven-minute health risk assessment at

About BayCare Health System
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 13 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Learn more about BayCare at

About the YMCA
The YMCA 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 21 million men, women and children -- regardless of age, income or background -- to nuture the potentional 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 deliever, lasting personal and social change. For more information on the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg, visit Find additional information on the YMCA of the Suncoast at