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March 28 is American Diabetes Alert Day

March 28 is American Diabetes Alert Day and Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network’s Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program is working with patients, healthcare providers and community organizations in Delaware to raise awareness, share information about how to lower risk factors for getting diabetes, and help those who have diabetes learn to best manage their condition for a healthier life.
In the United States, approximately 29.1 million people - or 1 out of every 11 people - have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. There is a diabetes prevalence of 28.7 percent for people aged 65 and over with Medicare in Delaware, according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) statistics from 2015. Diabetes is known as the most common cause of blindness, kidney failure, and amputations in adults and a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.   
“American Diabetes Alert Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the impact that diabetes has on the community and discuss how people can take action to make a real difference,” Natalie Tappe, Network Task Lead for Quality Insights’ EDC program, said. “The key message is that people can control their diabetes through lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, and by following a care plan in consultation with their doctor.”
As a Medicare Quality Innovation Network, Quality Insights is improving the health of people with diabetes by offering free diabetes management classes through the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program. EDC is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
EDC is a community-based approach that encourages participation and provides a structure to support people with Medicare in their commitment to managing diabetes. Classes follow the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Classes typically last six weeks. Participants learn about diabetes risks, nutrition, weight management, how to properly manage medications and much more. Past participants have reported weight loss, improvement of lab results and a decrease in medications. In Delaware, EDC classes are typically held in places like senior centers and libraries. There is no cost to participate in the program.
In addition to offering free classes to the community, the program works with health care providers and community volunteers by training them to teach classes themselves. The program also engages community partners to support efforts by promoting classes within the community, donating meeting space, recruiting potential new trainers and much more. 
“Through the EDC program, we bring communities together to learn about, prevent and control diabetes,” Tappe said. 
To date, 200 people with Medicare have graduated from EDC classes in Delaware.
Visit this page for more information about the EDC program and this page for a listing of currently scheduled classes. Contact Paula Smith, Project Coordinator, by calling (877) 987-4687 ext. 118 or emailing for more information.  For more information on American Diabetes Alert Day, visit
About Quality Insights
Quality Insights is the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Quality Insights collaborates with healthcare providers, patients and allied organizations across the network to bring about widespread, significant improvements in the quality of care they deliver. Our goal is better care, smarter spending and healthier people.