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Greater Detroit Area Health Council (GDAHC) awarded grant from Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to continue and expand ‘I CHOOSE HEALTH’ (‘I Choose’) program that teaches teens habits to pr
GDAHC expands partnership to include Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan in addition to Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and Delta Dental Foundation

NEWS RELEASE: February 20, 2020

Contact: Lisa Braddix, Director of Population Health and Health Equity


Bingham Farms, Michigan — Major lifestyle changes begin with small steps.

At Mt. Clemens Community Schools the “I Choose” program helps teens and their families learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices to avoid chronic diseases like obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay later in life.

”I Choose” is a partnership with GDAHC, Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals (HFMH), the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the Delta Dental Foundation and now the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

The program is based on the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) for adults developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The partners worked together to fund the program and a team of nurses and a community dietician at HFMH School and Community Wellness developed a youth-friendly curriculum.

The DPP model is currently used with adults and has drastically changed behavior. Participants receive counseling and support on diet, exercise, and lifestyle, and those who have taken part in the program so far have reduced their risk of developing diabetes on average by 58 percent.

In the United States, nearly 1 in 4 young adults (24 percent) and close to 1 in 5 adolescents (18 percent) have prediabetes, according to a new report from the CDC. A CDC official described these numbers as “evidence of a growing epidemic.”

“Diabetes is a growing medical concern in the U.S. and this program provides a pathway to diabetes prevention by teaching children to make healthier lifestyle and nutrition choices,” said Lisa Braddix, GDAHC Director, Population Health and Health Equity. “Aligned with GDAHC’s focus on addressing the social determinants of health, this program is a game-changer that will drive long-term positive health outcomes.”

In 2018, GDAHC partnered with HFMH to modify the current CDC Prevent T2 curriculum to meet the needs of Macomb County’s youth. This curriculum was implemented in Mount Clemens Community Schools (MCCS). Current scientific literature reinforces the fact that school and community-based programs are needed to promote improved dietary and physical activity behaviors for all children and families. ‘I Choose’ has begun to demonstrate success as a school-based program that provides youth and families with the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and encouragement to consume a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity, addressing not only the problem of obesity in children but also reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for youth.

Since its inception, 26 students have participated in ’I Choose,’ laying the groundwork for a more expansive, community-based curriculum. The support from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan will allow the current program participants to continue in the program for a second year, building on their successes to date and affirming their commitments to healthy lifestyles. The literature identifies the advantages of ongoing coaching with participants beyond the initial 12 months whenever possible, providing coaching to participants in the post-core phase of the lifestyle Intervention.

GDAHC and its ‘I Choose’ partners plan to expand the program to other venues and schools.


GDAHC is a nationally recognized Regional Health Improvement Collaborative (RHIC); a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-governmental agency whose purpose is to lead innovative and transformational programs designed to improve health, increase access to whole-person care and ensure that health care is affordable. GDAHC’s vision statement is simple: “Healthy people. Healthy Community. Healthy economy.” Organized in 1944, GDAHC is the nation’s longest-standing cross-sector, multi-stakeholder collaborative dedicated to improving health and wellbeing in communities. GDAHC achieves the goals in all its work by collaborating with diverse stakeholders and specializes in serving as a neutral convening body for organizations with common goals, yet competing interests. GDAHC will continue its tradition of convening capable partners to develop new and creative ways to improve health care, with this project being no exception.


The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development, and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $1 billion through nearly 69,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties. For more information, please visit


Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals (HFMH) is a 451-licensed bed health care organization serving the 840,000-resident Macomb County region. Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, HFMH became fully owned by Henry Ford Health System in 2007 and was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2011. HFMH offers comprehensive acute and tertiary care at its Clinton Township hospital, inpatient behavioral health services at its facility in Mt. Clemens and comprehensive outpatient care at its six health centers. Quality and patient safety recognitions include several service line specific Joint Commission certifications and highest ratings from professional societies and insurers.


The Michigan Health Endowment Fund is a philanthropic foundation that works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents while reducing healthcare costs. The Health Fund supports organizations across Michigan, from grassroots groups addressing local health challenges to large agencies working in every county. From the urban streetscapes of downtown Detroit, all the way to the rural corners of the Upper Peninsula, our partners are doing innovative, evidence-based work to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents.


 The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the oral health of the public and to advancing dental science through education and research. For more information, visit