About 37 million people – 11% of adults in the U.S. – have diabetes and about one in five people don't even know they have the disease, according to a January 2022 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sherry Doble, a claims manager at Cigna, has been with the company for almost 17 years. In 2020, she was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, a serious health condition where blood sugars are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Diabetes runs in her family. Her mother had the disease and it claimed the life of her grandmother. She was also suffering from hypothyroidism and receiving treatment for myopic macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes short-sightedness and can eventually lead to blindness.
With her family history and her own medical complications in mind, this diagnosis was the “final push.” Doble knew it was time for a change.
Change is Possible with Omada
Doble enrolled in Omada, Cigna’s diabetes prevention program, for the second time. She had previously been enrolled in the program but didn't end up completing it. This time around, Doble knew she had to have a different approach in order to get her health under control, and Cigna was ready to support her on this journey. “Deep inside, I knew this time was different,” she said. “Omada told me what changes to make, but I had to commit to doing it, too.”
With Omada’s personalized approach, Doble gradually changed her diet and exercise habits, and within six months she lost 50 pounds. Her doctor said she was no longer considered pre-diabetic, and she no longer needed the treatments for her eye disease. She continued participating in the two-year Omada program, completing it this year. But she says she hasn't stopped there. “I have to keep going – this is my new life.”
Why Omada Works
Through Omada, Doble got access to specialized coaching and peer support groups. She feels that the tailored education and feedback gave her the opportunity to unlearn ineffective weight loss tips and replace them with vetted facts and information on her dietary choices and nutrition.
“Omada takes it slow and teaches you the ‘whys’ behind exercise and eating better. I knew what foods I should be eating, but when I understood why, and how they reduce insulin levels, it helped me want to eat them more. Omada shows you how to avoid empty food and instead eat food that fuels you.”
Doble says Omada is different from other weight-loss programs because it combines human interaction, empathy, and technology to help its customers achieve their health goals. In coordination with Cigna health service tools, Omada also offers a discount gym-membership program with a network of fitness centers.
“I learned discipline through making compromises for my health. It’s not just about cutting out sweets – it’s about finding healthy replacements. Now I’ve even perfected my protein bar that uses unsweetened applesauce as a sugar replacement.”
A New Addition
While she was embracing this new lifestyle, Doble was also welcoming a new life into her family. After being unable to conceive with her husband, they decided to pursue adoption instead. On September 19, 2020, Doble’s 15 year anniversary at Cigna, she shared with a friend that she and her husband decided not to have children until “a baby is dropped in their lap.” And just a week after this conversation, the couple unexpectedly received a call about a four-month-old child who needed a family. Within a month they welcomed Kendall (pictured on right with Doble and her husband) to their home.
“I was a healthy and happy mom when we got Kendall, and she continues to motivate me every day,” she said.
Doble learned through her manager that she was able to use Cigna’s caregiver leave to spend the necessary time to bond with Kendall – and the adoption was completed in September 2021.
A New Life
Doble is now participating in Cigna’s annual Global Wellness Challenge – a six-week initiative where Cigna employees and their families earn daily points through logging their physical exercise and well-being activities. The minutes logged will accumulate toward a $30,000 donation to Doctors Without Borders and The National Alliance on Mental Illness. The challenge allows Doble to continue working towards her fitness goals, while contributing to Cigna’s initiatives and upholding its values.
“The biggest change I saw in myself wasn’t even the weight – it was in the way I approached my life,” Doble said. She shared her new outlook on life, which she calls the 360 Approach. “It’s about the interconnectedness of life. Every decision I make affects another aspect of my life. Without the decisions I’ve made under Omada, I wouldn’t be able to be the mom and leader I am today.”
She ultimately credits these changes and realizations to the benefits she received through Cigna. “When Cigna says they care about your health, they mean it. I would not be where I am today without Cigna and the support the company provided me with Omada and caregiver leave. I couldn’t ask for a better company to work for.”
Omada: Changing Mindsets to Change Health
Omada is a digital-first chronic care provider helping members make lasting changes to improve their health.