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CDC 24/7 – Saving Lives. Protecting People. Saving Money Through Prevention. Learn More About How CDC Works For You…

Full-Court Press against Type 2 Diabetes

Dominique Wilkins Highlights CDC's National Diabetes Education Program

Published: August 20, 2007

Photo: Sabrina Harper, Dominique Wilkins, Quanza Brooks-Griffin, Maurice Madden
Wilkins is shown here with Sabrina Harper, Acting NDEP Director; Quanza Brooks-Griffin, Public Health Advisor, NDEP; and Maurice Madden, producer/writer of The Debilitator.
Photo by Lisa Lake

Basketball star and hall-of-famer Dominque Wilkins (former Atlanta Hawks Player), is racing to a new goal conquering his type 2 diabetes and educating communities about prevention and control, while using the materials of the CDC's National Diabetes Education Program.

Wilkins and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich teamed up to kick off "Nique and Newt's Full-Court Press on Diabetes" at the annual National Black Arts Festival in July. Co-sponsored by the Center for Health Transformation (CHT) and SportsVisions, Inc., this program was designed to increase awareness, detection and prevention of diabetes. NDEP supplied resources and facilitated partnerships among organizations, such as the Georgia Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, American Diabetes Association, Association of American Diabetes Educators, and the Diabetes Association of Atlanta.

"As a former athlete, I was surprised to learn I had diabetes. But, I knew that I could have done better to take care of myself. I began to take small steps, such as losing a little weight, and changing my diet to get my diabetes under control," said Wilkins. "Others can do this too, and I am going to tell my story."

Using findings from the Diabetes Prevention Program, NDEP's Small Steps. Big Rewards campaign teaches that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by losing a modest amount of weight, getting 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week, and eating healthier foods."We are happy to partner with CHT and SportsVisions on this initiative. Many times people think that diabetes is inevitable because their parents or grandparents had it. Diabetes or its complications are not your destiny. You can prevent or control diabetes," said Sabrina Harper, acting NDEP director.

Offering products targeted towards the African-American community, NDEP provided community outreach materials to help facilitate discussions among health educators, family members, and others concerned about diabetes. New Beginnings: A Discussion Guide for Living Well with Diabetes was created by NDEP to accompany The Debilitator, a docudrama that takes viewers on an intimate and emotional journey with the film's lead character who has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

About 40 percent of adults ages 40 to 74—or 54 million people—have pre-diabetes, a condition that raises a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. African Americans are twice as likely as whites of similar age to develop diabetes.

Newt Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation, NBA All-Star Wilkins, National Black Arts Festival, and the National Diabetes Education Program, had a slam dunk for diabetes. Cherishing partnerships and community collaboration, NDEP looks to collaborate with more partners like this in the future.

Copies of New Beginnings and other NDEP diabetes materials are available FREE by downloading or ordering a hard copy on-line from, or by calling 1-800-438-5383.

The US Department of Health and Human Services' National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the CDC with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

Page last updated: August 20, 2007
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Safer, Healthier People
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