Phoenix, AZ (February 19, 2016) – Obesity and type 2 diabetes are major public health challenges that disproportionately impact Latino youth.  Prediabetes is an intermediate stage in the development of type 2 diabetes where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. With the epidemic of pediatric obesity, prediabetes has emerged as a concerning health condition among Latino youth who are obese. However, there are few diabetes prevention programs that focus on this high-risk population.


To address diabetes-related disparities among Latino youth, a team of researchers, clinicians, and community partners were awarded a 5-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The new grant, titled “Preventing Diabetes in Latino youth,” will test the efficacy of a culturally-grounded, lifestyle intervention program for reducing diabetes risk in obese Latino adolescents with prediabetes.


The project is a collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU), Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Valley of the Sun YMCA, the Family Wellness Program of St. Vincent de Paul Medical and Dental Clinic, University of Washington, and NIDDK. The team plans to enroll 120 prediabetic adolescents who will be randomized to a community-based diabetes prevention program or a usual care control group and followed over the course of a year to assess changes in diabetes risk factors. This new study addresses critical gaps in how diabetes prevention interventions for obese Latino youth are developed, implemented and evaluated.


The transdisciplinary research team includes Gabriel Shaibi, PhD, Colleen Keller, PhD, and Felipe Castro, PhD from the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at ASU; Micah Olson, MD and Harry Hu, PhD from Phoenix Children’s Hospital; Matt Sandoval, MEd with the Valley of the Sun YMCA; Yolanda Konopken, RD CDE from the Family Wellness Program at the St. Vincent de Paul Medical and Dental Clinic; Donald Patrick, PhD from the Seattle Quality of Life Group at the University of Washington; and William Knowler, MD, PhD from NIDDK.


“Diabetes is an extremely complex disease,” says Shaibi, the study’s principal investigator. “This complexity is why we have assembled such a diverse team to develop, implement, and ultimately evaluate the success of a diabetes prevention program. We believe that this innovative approach will set the stage for scalable, cost-effective, solution-oriented programs and policies to prevent type 2 diabetes in high­-risk youth.”


Dr. Gabriel Shaibi, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Southwest Borderlands Scholar at Arizona State University’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation and will serve as principal investigator for this study.


About ASU’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation — Arizona State University’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation (CONHI) is distinguished as a model for excellence in nursing and interprofessional practice, education and research. U.S. News and World Report ranked CONHI 24th in the country in 2015 for its master’s programs in nursing, making it the highest-ranked in Arizona. The AACN awarded CONHI the Exemplary Academic-Practice Partnership Award for its partnership with Mayo Clinic Arizona. From our undergraduate programs, certificate programs and continuing education opportunities, to our nationally recognized graduate degrees, CONHI is recognized for advancing knowledge, innovative practice models, and new solutions to optimize the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities. To stay connected, follow CONHI on Facebook and Twitter.


About Phoenix Children’s Hospital 

Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Arizona’s only hospital honored by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals, provides world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. As one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country, Phoenix Children’s provides care across more than 75 pediatric specialties. The Hospital is poised for continued growth in quality patient care, research and medical education. For more information about the Hospital, visit


About St. Vincent de Paul Medical and Dental Clinic —

The Family Wellness Program of St. Vincent de Paul Medical and Dental Clinic was established in 2000 to build healthier communities through awareness, knowledge, and empowerment of individuals and families. The program specializes in serving those at risk for or diagnosed with diabetes and its associated comorbidities. The education programs focus on prevention and management of chronic diseases through nutrition, physical activity, and overall wellness. The clinic is part of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a nonprofit organization that’s been working to feed, clothe, house and heal Arizonans since 1946. More information about St. Vincent de Paul can be found at


About Valley of the Sun YMCA 

Valley of the Sun YMCA is one of the largest human service nonprofit organizations in Arizona. As the oldest nonprofit in the state, celebrating 123 years, the YMCA serves local communities in Maricopa County, Pinal County, Yuma, Flagstaff, and Prescott, offering more than 250 programs and 26 social services at its statewide locations. Members are welcome regardless of gender, religion, or ethnicity. Financial assistance is also available to those who qualify. The YMCA aims to provide each member with every opportunity to reach farther and improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility, the YMCA’s goal is to inspire positive and lasting social change. For more information, visit


About Seattle Quality of Life Group 

The Seattle Quality of Life Group, within the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health is dedicated to advance the development, acceptance, and use of patient-centered health and quality of life outcomes. The program collaborates with groups who experience health and quality of life disparities and supports integration of patient-focused measures in clinical practice and shared decision making. The group facilitates the translation of research evidence on efficiency and effectiveness into policies and practices that promote health and quality of life. The University of Washington School of Public Health educates future and current public health practitioners and leaders, advances scientific knowledge and health policies, and improves the well-being of communities locally, nationally, and globally.