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One Year of Fresh Starts


Over 4,000 Alaskans enrolled in Fresh Start programs to improve health in the campaign's first year.

Fresh Start programs will continue to help more Alaskans in the new year.

DECEMBER 20, 2023 — More than 4,000 Alaskans have enrolled in free programs to lose weight, lower blood sugar or blood pressure, or stop smoking and vaping during the first year of Alaska’s new Fresh Start campaign. These programs will continue and are ready for Alaskans looking for a fresh start in the new year.


The Alaska Department of Health launched Fresh Start on Dec. 20, 2022. The campaign’s goal was to make it easier for Alaska adults to find and enroll in existing programs to prevent and manage chronic diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure and more. Most Alaskans could feel better with these programs. Statewide, nearly 3 out of 4 Alaska adults have at least one ongoing chronic disease, condition or related behavior, like smoking.

 

Alaska’s Fresh Start programs are free and flexible, so adults can participate in the way that works best for them. Many programs can be done online, by phone, and at an individual pace — wherever Alaskans live or travel. Many programs match people with a coach, so they don’t have to do it alone.


Many Alaskans Joined programs to meet health goals.

Thousands of Alaskans have joined Fresh Start programs since December 2022:

  • In one year, almost 2,180 Alaskans have enrolled in Fresh Start online programs to lose weight, lower blood pressure, or lower blood sugar to prevent or manage diabetes. These online Fresh Start programs are offered through a company called Omada Health.

  • Between December 2022 and November 2023, more than 1,850 Alaskans enrolled in Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line to stop smoking, vaping, or chewing.

  • During the past four years, about 1,740 Alaskans have lost almost 11,500 pounds through the online Fresh Start program to lose weight and prevent diabetes.

Alaskans lowered their blood pressure and blood sugar using Fresh Start programs:

  • Omada Health reported results for Alaskans who participated for months in the Fresh Start blood pressure program. These Alaskans consistently had their first measurement of blood pressure (called systolic) at 140 or higher. On average, they lowered their systolic blood pressure by 11 points during the program. Studies show that reducing systolic blood pressure by 10 points lowers your chances of stroke, heart disease, heart failure and death.

  • Omada Health tracked outcomes for Alaskans who participated for months in the Fresh Start program to manage diabetes. One of those outcomes is a blood test called the A1C. This test measures someone’s average blood sugar levels over the past few months. On average, Alaskans who started the program with an A1C measurement at 7 or higher lowered their A1C by 2 pointsStudies show that every point reduction in A1C lowers your chances of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, amputation, and death.


Begin your fresh start this new year

The Fresh Start campaign got its name from the idea of starting again. There are many times in our lives that get us thinking about a fresh start. We might think about making a change for our health when celebrating a big birthday, like turning 40 or 50. We might think about it when welcoming a new baby or a grandbaby to the family. Or we consider it when approaching the one day every year that gets a lot of us thinking about fresh starts: New Year’s Day and its New Year’s resolutions.


s December comes to an end, adults can find free help and support from health coaches to reach many goals in the new year. All Fresh Start programs are on one simple website:  freshstart.alaska.gov. This website shows colored boxes that each name a health goal. If that goal is something you want to achieve in the coming year, you just click the “Read More” button to learn about the program. You also can click the “Are you eligible?” button or “Click here to check if you’re eligible” statement. Those take you to the specific program’s website. You can fill out an online enrollment form when available.

 

“Healthy is an outfit that looks different on everyone, but adopting new, healthier habits may protect you from serious health problems both now and in the future,” said Jessica Downes, a nurse consultant with the Alaska Department of Health. “After a while, if you stick with these healthy changes, they become part of your daily routine. Small changes can add up to big successes. Alaska’s Fresh Start programs are ready to help with these small changes when you’re ready to join.”

 

Ready to feel better? Visit freshstart.alaska.gov to find a free program that’s right for you or someone you know.


The State of Alaska

Fresh Start Program

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