New Jersey success stories

NJ Local Success Stories
Quality improvement endeavors can often feel overwhelming, but chances are, you can learn from the experiences that another physician, hospital or nursing home has had in a similar situation. Coupled with support from Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, learning what has worked for others — and what didn't — is a valuable strategic planning component. 


Greg Coats PhotoWhen New Jersey’s Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) team asked for staff volunteers to help serve as peer leaders for its Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) classes in the spring of 2016, Greg was one of the first to step up to the plate. Greg is the accounting manager in the finance department at Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc. (HQSI). He believes he seized the perfect opportunity to get more involved in the quality improvement arena of HQSI’s work. 

Greg really liked the idea of facilitating conversations around healthy living because he believed it would only benefit his ongoing goal of weight loss. Greg has been on a journey for two years to reduce his weight, increase his physical activity and be more mindful of his lifestyle decisions. In the spring of 2018, Greg had passed the 50 pound weight loss mark. He is happy to report having more energy. Taking walks, camping, enjoying day trips and playing chess competitively are a few of the activities he enjoys.

WalterWalter is an Atlantic City man who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes less than three years ago.
 
He found out about a free diabetes program called Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) which was scheduled to take place at AtlantiCare HealthPlex, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). The program was scheduled through AtlantiCare Health Engagement, Population Health, in conjunction with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch. Program participants like Walter also received free bags of groceries while attending the program.

EDC uses the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) as a curriculum. The program consisted of an evidence-based workshop series that took place once a week for six weeks, for two hours each session. Participants learned about healthy eating, exercise, preventing complications, medications, stress and depression, self-monitoring and more.

Lynette with EDC Students Lynette Hem-Lee, RDN, a ShopRite Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, recently treated participants of the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) workshop at Columbian Towers to a special food presentation. 

Before Lynette arrived, the group discussed how they felt about keeping track of two days’ worth of meals and made observations on each other’s choices. Some opted for sweets in the morning while others wanted something quick and light because they knew they would have a snack in a few hours. 

As Lynette overheard the conclusion of the discussion, she let the group know she was pleased with the number of people who had something for breakfast, especially those that included fiber-rich choices like cereal or oatmeal. She told the participants that having sweets like doughnuts or pastries are not the best options because they have little to no fiber and can leave one feeling hungry and unsatisfied afterward as well as raising blood sugar levels. 

EDC class participantsSt. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Plainfield is known for caring for the moral, spiritual and total well-being of members of its congregation. As part of that tenet, the congregation scheduled a health and wellness day this past November, which included a free diabetes program, healing church service, soup lunch and chair yoga. The diabetes program consists of a workshop series that occurs once a week for six weeks and allows people with diabetes to share experiences and learn ways to better self-manage their condition.

EDC Class Members PictureTwelve individuals recently completed a comprehensive four-day training that will allow them to educate and empower people with diabetes throughout New Jersey.
 
“I can’t wait to go out into the field and motivate people to self-manage their diabetes,” Felix Ollenu, Project Coordinator at Healthcare Quality Strategies (HQSI) and newly graduated Peer Leader, said.  
 
The individuals became trained Peer Leaders in the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), an evidence-based program originally developed at Stanford University. The training consists of an interactive workshop series that occurs once a week for six weeks, for two and a half hours. 
 

Alexsandra PictureAlexsandra, also known as Sandy, is a mother of five living in South Jersey with her husband. About six months ago, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 
 
Sandy is an employee at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center in Newtonville and was happy when she received approval from her boss to attend one of the center’s programs, which was a free six-week diabetes self-management workshop series as part of the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program.
 

William Musto Culture Center Group PhotoThe William V. Musto Cultural Center recently hosted its first Spanish-speaking Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) in Union City.
 
The program started slowly because it had to compete with a yoga class held at the same time. In an effort to increase class participation, the facilitator decided to change the time, which allowed participants to attend both yoga and the diabetes program.
 
Without further obstacles, classes took off and the members were happy to participate in both yoga and then the diabetes class. 
 

Aula en Lugar Inesperado   (10/31/2017)

William Musto Culture Center Group Photo
Este Otoño en el condado de Hudson y ciudad de Union City se El Programa de Capacitación y Educación en Diabetes tomo lugar en el Impresionante Centro Cultural William V. Musto. 
 
El programa comenzó lentamente debido a que estaba compitiendo con el yoga que se llevó a cabo al mismo tiempo, por lo que el facilitador decidió cambiar el tiempo a un estado posterior permitiendo a los participantes que también querían hacer yoga y el taller de diabetes. 
 
Sin más obstáculos, las clases despegaron y los integrantes estuvieron felices de participar en el yoga y luego en las clases de Diabetes. 
 
 

EDC Class PhotoPemberton Township Senior Center recently hosted a free workshop series that educated and empowered seniors with diabetes. 
 
The six-week workshop series, also known as the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), is offered as part of Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC), which is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 
 

Fred and Virginia PictureVirginia and Fred are a couple living in Ocean County. Fred enjoys reading novels and gardening, and Virginia likes helping out with church, crafting and planning events. They both are living with type 2 diabetes.
 
Together, in a joint effort to take control of their health, they completed a free diabetes self-management workshop series at a senior living community in Tuckerton. 
 

All About Balance   (7/31/2017)

Minnie B. Veal Class PhotoAshvin has had Type 2 diabetes for the past five years. Previously a supervisor at Snapple, he would take advantage of the free sugary drinks a few times a day, as it was part of the company’s culture was to enjoy Snapple during leisure time.  Ashvin wasn’t thinking about the potential damage the drinks may be doing to his health. One 16-ounce bottle of Snapple has approximately 35 to 40 grams of sugar.
 
Once Ashvin found out that his blood sugar levels were higher than normal, he decided to make some changes and take charge of his health.
 

Group Photo for JFKJohn F. Kennedy Library in Piscataway recently hosted a free diabetes self-management program and ten participants graduated. 
 
Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network and Middlesex County Office of Health Services (MCOHS) collaborated to offer this workshop as part of the national Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) initiative. 
 

Group PictureEleven individuals recently graduated from a free diabetes self-management workshop series that took place at the Pleasantville Library. The graduates all came together to learn ways to better manage their diabetes.

The Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) was developed at Stanford University and aims to reduce risks associated with diabetes and help individuals live healthier and happier lives. The program consists of an evidence-based workshop series that takes place once a week for six weeks, for two and a half hours each time.

Mike PhotoAs Mike Menaker was packing up workshop materials at a senior center in Trenton, New Jersey last August, a participant named Anthony approached him.  Anthony took Mike’s hand and wouldn’t let go.
 
“Mike, I just want to thank you,” Anthony said. “You have no idea how much this class has helped me.  Do you have a few minutes to talk?”
 
Anthony felt at ease with Mike’s patience and wanted to review his action plan again.  Mike and Anthony also had something important in common – they were both military veterans.  Though Mike really did not have much time to talk due to his tight schedule with volunteer work, he unquestionably agreed.   

Jennifer PictureJennifer, a past educator from Trenton who loves to sing and sew has lived with type 2 diabetes for over 20 years. She has witnessed close friends go through amputations because of lack of care with their diabetes and eating whatever they wanted. It frightened her, so when she found out about a free diabetes program happening at her local senior center in Trenton, she knew right away she would take advantage.

The Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) was developed at the Stanford University School of Medicine and consists of a free six-week workshop series.

Gwendolyn“I’m feeling so good,” Gwendolyn joyfully said. “When I first came here and took the stairs, I would get winded. I came today and I am fine!”

Gwendolyn was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about four years ago. She wanted to learn more about how to manage her diabetes, so she decided to attend a free diabetes program that was scheduled at the Sam Naples Senior Center in Trenton.

Eva and KatharinaTwo New Jersey sisters have a strong hereditary history of diabetes that has affected them and their family for years.

“The hardest thing we ever went through in our lives was watching our mother go through toe amputations,” the sisters gloomily stated. “It was so painful that even morphine did not take away the phantom pain.”

The ReedsIris received the news from her cardiologist (heart doctor) that she was a diabetic about two years ago. Iris lives in South Jersey with her husband Delbert and enjoys weaving with ribbon, completing puzzles and Sudoku, and helping her daughter with her art shows.

“It was disappointing,” Iris admitted when she found out the news. 

Margie PictureMargie, an avid card player who enjoys going to casinos in Atlantic City or Pennsylvania when she can, has had diabetes for about seven years, but never tried to actively manage her disease until recently. When she was first diagnosed with diabetes, her doctor provided her with a video to watch about the disease. She watched the video, but said it did not add much value to her life or give her the education she really wanted. 

Donald PictureWhen Donald found out he had diabetes, he was terrified. He had seen the negative effects of the disease first-hand through his family members. Some of the diabetic complications he’s witnessed in his family include eye loss, amputations, heart attack and liver problems. He truly understood the damage this disease can cause if not managed properly. That’s why as soon as he got diagnosed, he wanted to take control. 

A sports lover, Donald is a New Jersey man who likes to travel, see shows, and go out and meet new people. He is a member of the Gateway Family YMCA in his town, which is where he saw a flyer for a free diabetes program happening at the YMCA.

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