Making the Connection Healthy Living Program


To focus on healthy eating and increasing physical activity to decrease weight and reduce risk of diabetes in southwest Chicago neighborhoods.


Making the Connection is a community-based research program focused on promoting healthy lifestyles in the Greater Lawn community of Southwest Chicago, which includes the Chicago neighborhoods of West Lawn, Chicago Lawn, and Gage Park. The research project uses the successful lifestyle approach of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which helped people across the United States reduce their risk of diabetes. The researchers and community members pilot-tested the program in the Greater Lawn community over 2005-2006. The full-scale study occured 2006-2008. This community-based program, called Making the Connection Healthy Living Program, focuses on eating healthy and increasing physical activity to decrease weight and help to reduce the risk of diabetes. Community residents hired and trained as Healthy Life Coaches work with researchers to deliver this group-oriented program in the community to discover how it works and what needs to be done to make it even better for the community.

Research Partner(s)

AMA Orthopedic Shoes
American Diabetes Foundation
CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation
Chicago Department of Public Health
Chicago Park District
Chicago South East Diabetes Community Action Coalition
Edward N. Hurley Elementary School
Florence Nightingale Elementary School
Gage Park High School
Healthy Chicago Lawn
Holy Cross Hospital
Hurley Fine and Performing Arts Magnet School
Illinois Department of Public Health
Illinois Public Health Association
Latino Organization of the Southwest
Metropolitan Family Services
National Kidney Foundation of Illinois
West Communities YMCA

Funding Agency

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Cooperative Agreement No. U48-DP-000048


Principal investigator
Laurie Ruggiero, PhD

Start date
End date
About this grant

This is the core study of the Illinois Prevention Research Center.

Related publications

Ruggiero L, Castillo A, Quinn L, Hochwert M. Translation of the Diabetes Prevention Program's lifestyle intervention: role of community health workers. Curr Diab Rep. 2012 Apr;12(2):127-37. (See on PubMed.)

Ruggiero L, Oros S, Choi YK. Community-based translation of the Diabetes Prevention Program’s lifestyle intervention in an underserved Latino population. Diabetes Educ. 2011 Jul-Aug;37(4):564-72. doi: 10.1177/0145721711411107.