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Sam's Club to help YMCA expand health programs for underserved communities


Sam's Club has donated more than $1 million to the YMCA to expand a program designed to address health issues among residents of underserved neighborhoods, along with a diabetes-prevention program.

The retailer also announced that it will be offering diabetes screenings at its pharmacies next week.

"The YMCA is a renowned champion for preventive health solutions, are we are thrilled the Sam's Club Giving Program could expand the Y's commitment to diabetes awareness throughout the country," Sam's Club SVP health and wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael said. "Sam's Club also recognizes the importance of preventive care, providing more than 5 million free health screenings to the communities we serve through monthly screening events and interactive Solohealth stations available in our clubs."

The YMCA will use the money to expand the Healthier Communities Initiative to five additional communities to address health disparities among African-American and Latino individuals and families. The program currently serves more than 250 neighborhoods nationwide and has helped more than 46 million people.

The $1.25 million grant will also support six new YMCAs in launching the Diabetes Prevention Program. The program has helped participants at more than 600 locations around the country lose an average of 4.9% of body weight. The program, which Sam's Club is collaborating with the non-profit group on, is designed to help people adopt healthy eating and exercise habits and has served about 12,000 people around the country.

The screenings will focus on A1c and blood glucose tests for diabetes, as well as blood pressure, body mass index and vision screenings, worth a total of $200. The tests will take place at the chain's 571 pharmacies on Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, while 79 million have pre-diabetes. Participants can pick up a postcard from the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program to evaluate their risk for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

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