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Preventing diabetes in the workforce drastically reduces absenteeism, cuts costs

New initiative aims to lower diabetes rates in Monterey County


Diabetes linked to workplace absenteeism costs U.S. employers an estimated $20.4 billion annually. Locally, 45 percent of Monterey County adults have either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, which could translate into significant time and money lost for local employers.

Community Health Innovations — a partnership that includes Montage Health and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System — is introducing a new campaign — Don’t Feed the Diabetes — in Monterey County that is designed to help educate the community about the risks of diabetes and how to prevent it.

If your Monterey County business is interested in learning more about the services that Montage Health can o­ffer to your employees, please contact Community Hospital’s corporate accounts manager Gene Fischer at or call (831) 658-3983.

What is the “Don’t Feed The Diabetes” campaign?

Understanding the complexity of the disease, a campaign was needed to bring it to life. That’s how The Beast was born. This devious creature creatively shines a light on the dangers of the disease and makes us question our own risky behaviors. In the end, by changing beliefs and behaviors about type 2 diabetes, we can build a healthier Monterey County by starving this beast together.


Facts about the beast

  • 45 percent of Monterey County adults have either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes
  • People with diabetes have medical expenses approximately 2.3 times higher than those who do not have diabetes
  • 884,000 people in California have diabetes but don’t know it, greatly increasing their health risk
  • One in five adolescents has prediabetes
  • Risk of early death from diabetes is 60 percent higher than adults without diabetes
  • If you have prediabetes, losing weight by eating healthy and being more active can cut in half the risk of getting type 2 diabetes

Programs and Resources

Small changes make a big difference. Monterey County is full of ways to stay healthy and keep The Beast away. At you will find local resources for helping you keep your health on track, including:

  • Links to diabetes awareness and prevention programs and classes
  • Beast-free recipes to download and make at home
  • A daily food journal to track your eating habits
  • Recommended healthy living apps to download and use on your phone

Real Stories

You’re not alone. Lots of your neighbors in our community are learning to prevent type 2 diabetes and keep it under control.


Aranza’s Story

Aranza learned to control her diabetes through diet and exercise. Most important, she’s learned that The Beast doesn’t control her life.

Read full story


Tom’s Story

Tom learned he didn’t need to change everything to get healthier; he just needed to make better choices.

Read full story


Maria’s Story

One simple change in Maria’s day – taking daily walks – made all the difference.

Read full story


CJ’s Story

The better CJ feels, the more he wants to keep going. His asthma and migraines have disappeared, and his diabetes is in remission. He has more energy.

Read full story

Know your risk

The website can greatly benefit Monterey County employees who want to prevent or control type 2 diabetes. It’s a source for:

  • Learning your personal risk for type 2 diabetes by taking a 60-second online assessment
  • Tips and facts that will help you control or prevent diabetes
  • Programs and resources close to home to help you get and stay healthy
  • Stories from your neighbors about how they’re beating The Beast

Montage Health

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula

Montage Health Foundation

Montage Medical Group

Montage Wellness Center

Aspire Health Plan

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Community Health Innovations