When Cortne first visited Stephanie Burns, Highmark diabetes health coach, she prepared herself for a lecture. Instead, Stephanie shared her own story of overcoming eating disorders and her success in losing weight, making Cortne feel more comfortable.
Stephanie started Cortne on small changes in her diet, like adding fiber and drinking more water. Over the next six months, Cortne lost 50 pounds and, most importantly, lowered her blood sugar into the normal range.
Cortne and Stephanie continue to walk together for exercise. Cortne is living proof that better health is within reach, especially with an understanding coach on your side.
OPEN ON LONG VIEW OF TWO LADIES WALKING ALONG PAVED NATURE PATH THROUGH FORESTED AREA.
SFX: SOFT TONES OF THE LADIES' SPIRITED CONVERSATION THROUGHOUT.
SUPER: 2:27pm Schenley Park
CUT TO VIEW OF THE TWO LADIES CLIMBING UP LONG SET OF STAIRS ON THE PATH.
SUPER: Cortne was at risk for diabetes.
THEY CONTINUE CLIMBING UP.
SUPER: Until her Highmark Health Coach helped her lose 50 lbs.
CUT TO LONG, SIDE VIEW OF LADIES CROSSING IVY-COVERED STONE BRIDGE.
SUPER: Stephanie calls, texts and even walks with Cortne.
CUT TO VIEW OF LADIES COMING ALONG THE PATH THROUGH A TUNNEL UNDER THE BRIDGE.
SUPER: Because it wouldn't be enough to just talk the talk.
TUNNEL SCENE FADES OUT TO END FRAME: (WHITE SCREEN)
VO: Living Proof of the difference you can make when you’re All for Health.
HEAD: LOGO: Highmark®
VO: Blue Shield
LOGO: Blue Shield®
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is rapidly increasing.
Highmark has wellness teams to help people control diabetes and other conditions. The teams offer personalized solutions based on each person's needs and include case managers, pharmacists, doctors, social workers, dietitians and behavioral health specialists.
"I hadn't been to a doctor in two or three years," said Cortne. "I was afraid to get a blood test. I was afraid I'd be stuck with diabetes."
"Cortne's A1C (average blood glucose level) was 11.1 firmly in diabetic territory," said Stephanie. "She wasn't following her doctor's advice. To let her know what was possible, I shared my personal history of struggling with weight. It's my way of connecting with my patients."
When she met with Stephanie, Cortne was impressed. "It was like she knew me. She’d been there and knew the struggle," Cortne said.
Cortne met with Stephanie every few weeks, changed the way she ate and watched her weight go down. Her A1C went from 11.1 to 5.5 a major achievement that brought it within the normal range.
To help motivate Cortne to exercise, Stephanie joined her for regular walks an activity they enjoy and continue.
"I feel like a different person. And this is just the beginning. She really did change my life and I'm so grateful," said Cortne.
It is estimated that 9 percent of Americans more than 29 million people have diabetes, although 8.1 million of them are undiagnosed.
One out of every three adults has prediabetes and 90 percent of them don't even know they have it. By taking prompt action and making lifestyle changes, these people can avoid moving to a full diabetic condition.
Early detection and treatment of diabetes can help people avoid additional complications, such as:
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes all revolve around insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the body absorb and use the glucose created from digesting food.
Risk factors such as high blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides, and abdominal obesity can make you more likely to develop insulin resistance.
Highmark members can call Member Service at 1-888-BLUE-428 to talk with a health coach.