KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – September 21, 2021 – The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF) is pleased to share successful results from the initial eight months of the first ever Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved Diabetes Prevention Program for the trucking industry – Driving Down Diabetes. Since the program launched in February 2021, the 12 participants have lost more than 180 pounds total, and 8 of the 12 participants have already surpassed the CDC’s suggested five percent weight loss.
St. Christopher’s Driving Down Diabetes program offers two free diabetes prevention curriculums available for all professional Class A over-the-road truck drivers at risk for type 2 diabetes. These are evidence-based lifestyle change courses aimed at reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. The CDC estimates that people with prediabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.
“We are so proud of the participants who have gone through this program with us for the past eight months,” said Julie Dillon, Health and Wellness Manager at St. Christopher Fund. “Working with the CDC to develop this program and provide guidance to the drivers out there to improve their lifestyle and lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes has been a rewarding experience.”
The St. Christopher Driving Down Diabetes prevention program consists of two curriculums based on the needs of the individual and their lifestyle. They are:
Option 1: A year long program with live webinars focusing on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and more. A lifestyle coach specially trained and approved by the CDC leads the program. This program group contains similar people with similar goals and challenges, making it a great place for support, encouragement, and tips specifically for truck drivers. Class A OTR drivers that enroll are eligible to receive tools to help with tracking and success (e.g., scale, blood pressure cuff, activity tracker, and resistance bands) thanks to a sponsorship from Southern Recipe.
Option 2: This program is used, along with additions, to teach nutrition, exercise, stress management, and more. A lifestyle coach specially trained and approved by the CDC leads the program. This program is online only, meaning there are no live webinars, but instead participants watch pre-recorded videos that go along with the curriculum. While the videos will be available to view at any time, it is recommended that participants follow the same timeline as in Option 1. Class A OTR drivers that wish to enroll can opt to get support from the lifestyle coach, and can opt to submit their weight, blood pressure, and activity minutes before each meeting.
SCF’s Driving Down Diabetes program is changing lives, as evidenced by these testimonies:
“Every year I get a physical through the VA and they draw labs every year as well. Last year when my labs were drawn the numbers indicated a move towards prediabetes or diabetes and that was what had me join your program. I had my yearly physical on Monday with labs drawn and I was just informed everything was within normal range and not the numbers I had last year. Those little changes can make a difference. I just wanted to share this with you!” Tim F., program participant.
“Driving down diabetes has taught me several things on how to change my habits for eating, breathing, sleeping and the importance of drinking water. And yay, passed my DOT physical and blood pressure was great.” Rene G., program participant.
“This program has helped me get extra movement in my average day. I would give it 5 stars. Wish I could give it 10!” Colette, program participant.
“Some of you can pump out 4 or 5 miles a day, but last year I could not stand, let alone exercise for more than just a few minutes at a time. The 29 minutes I exercised today is like a miracle! Thank every one of you who contributes in this group. You keep me motivated and proud of every single moment. You all are amazing!” Lei M., online program participant.
SCF has also partnered with Rolling Strong, the provider of health and wellness programs for transportation companies and their drivers, as well as owner-operators, to provide continued support to program participants with a free six-month membership to the Rolling Strong App. Rolling Strong is also linking its platform to the Fund’s Rigs without Cigs program.
“It is crucial for participants in our CDC Diabetes Prevention Program to have ongoing support during the maintenance phase of the year long program,” said Julie Dillon, Health and Wellness Manager for SCF. “Our shared passion with Rolling Strong is to see drivers get healthier and feel better. At SCF, we are excited to have Rolling Strong partner with us to assist professional drivers in achieving their health goals.”
The St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) is a 501(c)(3), truck driver charity that helps over-the-road semi-truck drivers and their families when an illness or injury, occurring within the last year, has caused them to be out of work. More than 70% of the 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the U.S. have one or more serious health problems such as obesity, diabetes, sleep disorders and cardiovascular disease. These essential workers spend long durations away from home, work irregular hours and are often unable to get to a clinic, pharmacy or hospital. Minor illnesses become severe, leading to hospitalization and disability. Loss of their commercial driver’s license can result in them being unable to work, and financial hardship.