louisiana NEWS

November is American Diabetes Month: EDC Program Offers Free Classes and Training Opportunities

November is American Diabetes Month and Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network’s Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program is working with patients, health care providers and stakeholders to prevent and reduce the incidence of diabetes in Louisiana.
EDC LogoQuality Insights’ EDC program, supported locally by eQHealth Solutions, offers free diabetes classes throughout its five state network, which includes Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. EDC is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
In the United States, nearly one-third of adults 65 years and older have diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. In Louisiana, approximately 26.5 percent of people aged 65 and over with Medicare have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to CMS. 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.                   
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 developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Classes are designed to help participants take control of their diabetes and change their life by gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent or lessen the severity of complications from diabetes. Participants learn about diabetes risks, nutrition, weight management, how to properly manage medications and much more. In Louisiana, EDC classes are typically held in places like senior centers, senior residences, community centers, health care facilities and churches.
To date, 158 people with Medicare have graduated from EDC classes in Louisiana.
“American Diabetes Month 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,” Chris Gatlin, Quality Improvement Manager for the EDC program in Louisiana, said.  “The key message is that people can control their diabetes and change their lives.”
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. 
Learn more about the EDC program, view a listing of currently scheduled classes, or contact Chris Gatlin, Quality Improvement Manager, by calling (225) 248-7035 or emailing cgatlin@eqhs.org. For more information on American Diabetes Month, visit www.diabetes.org.
About Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network
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 health care 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. To learn more about the network, visit www.qualityinsights-qin.org.