Engaging champions in the process of embedding a type 2 diabetes prevention lifestyle program into a community setting: A collaborative approach


  • Mary Jung
    University of Bristish Columbia Okanagan
  • Karlene Sewell
    YMCA Okanagan


  • Tineke Dineen
    University of British Columbia Okanagan
  • Corliss Bean
    University of British Columbia Okanagan

Translating effective health interventions into the community are often not applied in practice. The gap between research and practice is concerning for community members who can benefit from early access to effective health interventions. Knowledge translation (KT) activities and community partnerships are demonstrated methods to close the gap, yet there is a need for quality partnerships to ensure research findings are implemented into communities so it ensures sustainability, rigour and quality programming through planning, preparation and time to foster the partnership.

KT events can include dissemination and uptake of research evidence to further inform programming. Through a partnership between the YMCA of Okanagan, a leader in community programming, and the Small Steps for Big Changes (SSBC) research team, a group with an evidence-based program for improving health and exercise adherence in individuals with prediabetes, an influential partnership began with a goal to translate the SSBC program into the YMCA.

In this proposed work, the event aims to formally unite the two partners and establish a common goal, mission, vision and values. A key outcome is to establish a plan for the pilot of embedding the SSBC program into three YMCA locations within the Okanagan community. This plan is significant to the successful translation and sustainability of the program. Key to the success of the partnership is agreement on all aspects of the translation. The proposed work includes multiple translation events to work towards a long-term, successful partnership.

Vital to the collaborative nature of the partnership, feedback from YMCA of Okanagan managers, staff, past participants and present SSBC trainers will optimize the planning stages. Input from all parties will be collected and combined into a suitable plan, an appropriate training program, timeline for the translation, usability of program documents by YMCA staff and the respective roles of the YMCA and SSBC research team in program sustainability and ongoing fidelity. Finally, a video knowledge product will document the process of the partnership, with information about the program, outcomes and the partnership using video footage during the meetings and voice-over from SSBC alumni and YMCA staff. The knowledge product will be used for promotional material for distribution via each partner’s respective media platforms.