The Preventive Lifestyle Assistance Network (PLAN), founded by Marci Kenon, focuses exclusively on providing the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), a preventative agenda helmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PLAN recently signed an agreement with Healthfirst, a leading Managed Care Organization (MCO), to deliver the NDPP on a broader scale. In addition, a series of online NDPP classes will be offered in both English and Spanish beginning Thursday, September 10th. PLAN is a certified New York State Medicaid Provider.
Harlem, NY – When the pandemic hit, certified lifestyle coach Marci Kenon was knee deep in serving her Harlem community, specifically targeting the marginalized and underserved sectors. As the founder of Preventive Lifestyle Assistance Network (PLAN), her agency, launched last year, focuses exclusively on providing the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), a preventative agenda helmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With COVID-19 targeting Black and Brown people who have co-morbidities like type 2 diabetes, reaching at risk people became even more crucial for Kenon. PLAN recently signed an agreement with Healthfirst, a leading Managed Care Organization (MCO), to deliver the NDPP on a broader scale. In addition, a series of online NDPP classes will be offered in both English and Spanish beginning Thursday, September 10th. PLAN is a certified New York State Medicaid Provider.
According to the CDC, over 88 million American adults have prediabetes, yet eight in ten don’t know they have it. Without taking action, many could develop type 2 diabetes within five years. NDPP is an evidence-based, year-long program conducted by lifestyle coaches who help people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes reverse the course. PLAN offers a one-minute risk test on its website at https://www.joinplanglobal.com/ for anyone to check their status. Those at risk can register for a NDPP class.
The statistics on how Black and Hispanic New Yorkers disproportionately contract the coronavirus, suffer with severe symptoms and die at higher rates than whites, highlight the importance of prevention programs like the one Kenon has made the center of her Harlem-based company. PLAN originally launched its first in-person NDPP class at Ephesus SDA Church on Malcolm X Boulevard in the heart of Harlem.
“The coronavirus struck and disrupted that class,” Kenon recalls, talking about the uncertainty of life in New York as COVID-19 hit New York with intense cruelty. “I really thought I would wake up and realize it was all a bad dream. Fortunately, we were able to transition from in-person to virtual because we were conducting a NDPP class online before the coronavirus descended.”
Feeling a strong desire to help during the height of the pandemic, Kenon started volunteering at the NY Common Pantry, near her home in East Harlem. That is where she met Michael Montanez, a diligent, dedicated worker who is going to conduct PLAN’s first Spanish-language classes.
“Marci’s vision for our community’s overall health is extremely expansive,” expresses Montanez. “I’m excited to join PLAN with bi-lingual class offerings. The addition of Spanish classes is a critical step toward effecting awareness and change across our combined communities.”
It was while pursuing a certification in personal fitness training that Kenon was told she was pre-diabetic during a routine medical exam. The doctor who sounded the alarm had lost her mother and grandmother, both double amputees, to complications related to type 2 diabetes.
Kenon created PLAN and became an official provider for NDPP. With New York State Medicaid now covering the full cost of the program, PLAN is positioned to more positively assist with impacting clients on an even grander scale. PLAN is one of a handful of companies that exclusively conducts this 22-module course. “We start with weekly core classes that focus on making small lifestyle changes,” Kenon explains. “We then transition into maintenance-mode with one class a month. We have a speaker series and a private Facebook page to nurture support. Our goals are losing weight, lowering blood sugar levels and increasing overall wellness. We are a small team and specialize in providing our clients with extra attention and care.”
Kenon previously worked in the music industry for many years as a columnist/feature writer for Billboard Magazine, interviewing celebrities that included Diana Ross, Jay Z and Jada Pinkett-Smith. She exited the music industry with the production of a documentary produced in 2004 in partnership with Image Entertainment, entitled “Higher Ground: Voices of Contemporary Gospel Music,” featuring Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams.
With new partners, a new team member and a new pandemic-inspired attitude for change, Marci Kenon has a PLAN for better health for the community she serves! Get with the PLAN at https://www.joinplanglobal.com/.
View the PLAN promo at https://youtu.be/bSt9YG1XMsg.