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In the fall of 2013, PictureWellness CEO and President, Maurice Saliba, began a journey with a group of 139 State of Tennessee employees to learn about diabetes prevention.  Following the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) after 16 weeks, 28% of those individuals had lost 5% of their total body weight.  To put it in perspective, these individuals lost a total of 1199 pounds in 16 weeks.  The DPP is designed to help pre-diabetics make changes in their daily routines.  Mr. Saliba simplifies the ways in which participants monitor their food intake and how they look at physical activity.  Join that with his passion for wellness and you have a healthy recipe for serious lifestyle change.   


“I am writing to express my gratitude to TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) for allowing the Diabetes Prevention Program to take place and allowing us to participate…I must say that the Coach Maurice Saliba is such an inspiration and encourager in this life transforming experience…I am most happy to report that I have lost over 26 pounds and Maurice gave us some guidelines for success that are sustainable.  This is a common sense program that embodies the 4 “pillars” of successful healthy living.  The four components are adequate sleep, water, food intake and exercise…I really believe that I am in a very beneficial life-style change that is easy to maintain and my recent wellness assessment results bear this out with blood pressure numbers somewhat 30 points less than have ever been…Of course there are other components of a healthy life such as the mental, and spiritual, but for the physical part this has been great.   This is one big thank you I will throw to TDEC and encourage everyone wanting to make a positive change in their bodies to consider.” – Robert (State of Tennessee Employee)

With over 30 years’ experience, Mr. Saliba continues to demonstrate great success, as evidenced by the numerous letters of recognition he has received from individuals such as Phil Brown with Mohawk Industries, former Congressman Zach Wamp, Tennessee State Representative Kevin Brooks, as well as many others.  HealthCare 21 chose Maurice Saliba and PictureWellness, to deliver the DPP program to the State of Tennessee, because he delivers results.

CEO of area business Picture Wellness Maurice Saliba is working with UTC leaders to launch a diabetes prevention program in Chattanooga, but he needs to raise money to start the efforts, which he is sure will change lives.

Last fall, Saliba worked with 139 state employees on diabetes prevention. He followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and after 16 weeks, 28 percent of the participants had lost 5 percent of their body weight.

The program targets people who have prediabetes and aims to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.  

According to the CDC, the program can help people cut their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in half.

Now, he's working with UTC's Dr. Gary Liguori to help 300 people in Chattanooga, but he needs help from partners and sponsors. He needs to raise $75,000 to support the one-year program.

That money doesn't all have to come from one place or at one time, he said.

"Even if we could get a third of that money in the next 30 days, we can launch," he said.

Once the money is raised, his plan is to kick off the program with a "massive" health fair, where leaders will test individuals' body weights and other factors.

He will then pick 300 people—those at the most risk, with the highest body mass indexes—to participate in the yearlong program, which has a curriculum approved by the CDC.  

During the program, participants will have an exercise component two times a week and a nutritional support group once a week.

Saliba is passionate about the possible impacts of the program. He said there is potential for it to cut insurance costs and help people nationwide.

If the program is successful, it could be duplicated around the country.

"This has the potential to be the largest on-the-ground research," he said. "This has the potential to really make an impact on a national level."

Local businessman seeks support for

diabetes prevention program

By Chloé Morrison

Published Thursday, September 4th 2014

September 4, 2014