Conemaugh Patients Find Success With Hope 80-20 Program

June 3, 2019

Conemaugh Health System works closely with the Hope 80-20 program to encourage employees, patients, families, and the community to make positive lifestyle changes to delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Melissa Shaffer, Program Director for the Conemaugh School of Medical Technology, has participated in the program and works to maintain a healthier lifestyle. “Following this plan has really made me successful,” said Shaffer. “I lost 52 pounds and I’m really happy and proud to reach that goal. I feel better and have more energy.” Melissa decided to start the program because her father had a stroke and she had some family members pass away from preventable diseases such as diabetes and complications from the disease.

The Hope 80-20 program includes online course modules for participants that are approved by the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) Diabetes Prevention Program. The plan also involves healthy lifestyle changes including drinking water each day, getting eight hours of sleep, monitoring intake of calories, and walking at least thirty minutes each day.

“Hope 80/20 helped me to define what I needed to do to become healthier and it changed the trajectory of my life,” said Shaffer. “I’m 52 and have been overweight all my life. The 80/20 webinars each week slowly help you adapt your lifestyle with minor changes and before you know it your shredding pounds off. It’s amazing.”

The Conemaugh Diabetes Institute provides extensive education and support services to patients diagnosed with diabetes and individuals at risk for developing diabetes. Staff members of the Conemaugh Diabetes Institute work with family members and primary care physicians to coordinate an effective plan of care for each patient. Individual and group education and appointments are available. Conemaugh Diabetes Institute's education programs are recognized by the American Diabetes Association and are led by Certified Diabetes Educators including registered nurses, dietitians, and additional healthcare professionals.


Common Risk Factors of Diabetes

  • Age over 45 years
  • Race or ethnic background including African American, Hispanic / Latino, American Indian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander 
  • Being overweight (especially around the waist)
  • Low physical activity level 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Family history of diabetes 
  • History of diabetes during pregnancy

Diabetes Symptoms

  • Urinating often 
  • Being very thirsty 
  • Being very hungry 
  • Being more tired than usual 
  • Being irritable 
  • Losing weight 
  • Experiencing blurry vision​

Additional Medical Issues Related to Diabetes

  • Heart Disease 
  • Stroke 
  • Kidney Problems 
  • Foot problems (poor circulation, ulcers, and amputation) 
  • Nerve damage (tingling, pain, numbness or weakness in your feet and hands) 
  • Depression 
  • Eye problems and blindness

To learn more about the Conemaugh Diabetes Institute or to schedule an appointment, call (814) 534-6800 or (866) 641-3828.