New Jersey 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.
As 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, 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.
“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.
Two 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.”
Iris 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, 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.
When 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.
Left to Right: Rama (a workshop graduate),
Jim, George (Colts Neck Lions Club
Three nonprofit organizations with different missions in New Jersey worked together on a project with one common goal in mind – improving the health and lives of people with diabetes in the community.
In Colts Neck, Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network – supported locally by Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc. (HQSI) – collaborated with the Lions Club – the world’s largest service club organization – and the Community Church. HQSI supports the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program throughout New Jersey.
Together, these local organizations brought an evidence-
based diabetes program to the community.
Left to Right - Back: Anthony Nuñez, Aaron Fraizer, Deborah Burt
Left to Right - Middle: Andy Trivedi, Marquise Squires, Tom Davis, Priscilla Lewis,
Raji Vijayaraghavan, Renu Advani, Bharati Trivedi, Nancy Chao
Front - Left to Right: Deena Natale, Kelli Frey, Sharon Pleasant-Jones, Jasmin Lopez
Many people are aware of diabetes, but often overlook the fact that it can have devastating effects if not managed properly. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in New Jersey and about 22 percent of adults 65 years and older have diabetes.
These alarming statistics will only get worse with no action. Luckily, a dedicated group of volunteer educators or “Peer Leaders” is ready to take on the disease and start making improvements in their communities.
The Peer Leaders come from all walks of life and bring a wide variety of experience and empathy to the national Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC)
project. Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc. (HQSI), as a member of the Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, implements EDC throughout New Jersey to improve quality of life for people with diabetes.
Aquilina is a retired Philippines native who has been living in New Jersey for the last four years. She enjoys traditional Filipino dancing and participating in exercise classes and other seminars and workshops at her local senior center in Piscataway.
Aquilina found out that she had diabetes when she first moved to the United States. She has had some struggles along the way with finding doctors and the health care she needs, so she is always looking for ways to improve her health.
Kathy, a New Jersey caregiver, participated in the free Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC)
program at her local public library in Plainfield and is excited to share her story. As a colon cancer survivor, she is already very involved in health education initiatives within her community. Her husband, George, recently received news that he is a pre-diabetic. Since it is still in the early stage, there are steps he can take that can potentially prevent him from becoming a diabetic.
As part of the national Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC)
project, Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network promotes the use of an evidence-based Diabetes Self-Management Program.
Retired in her early sixties and living in New Jersey, Barbara loves to crochet, sew, and spend time with her family and granddaughter, Olivia. Diagnosed with diabetes eleven years ago, she is always looking for new and current ways to manage and take control of her health and condition.
Barbara received a flyer in the mail about a diabetes program that was scheduled to take place in her neighborhood at her local library in Plainfield. The Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), created by Stanford University School of Medicine, consists of two and a half hour workshops that occur once a week for six weeks.
Born in India, Ambalal (Andy) is now retired in his late sixties and living in New Jersey. He enjoys doing community service in his free time and is currently a Peer Leader for the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) that has been offered at hundreds of locations throughout the United States. For the last 15 years, he has been a Type 2 Diabetic. Four years ago, he had a heart attack. Consequently, Andy is always looking to learn more about managing his health and diabetes, and to feel more in control of his life.
Now retired, Aaron is a graduate of the Saint Peter’s Public Policy program and has lived in New Jersey his whole life. A talented writer, he is currently putting a collection of poetry together, and it isn’t his first. Besides writing, he enjoys going to summer concerts, listening to house music (a form of dance music), and supporting community programs for young people.
About twenty years ago, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Determined to improve his health, Aaron recently completed a self-management program that helps people control and manage their diabetes or other chronic condition.
This is a story about Salvatore – better known as “Sal” – a former manager and merchandiser who is a lifelong New Jersey native, now retired in his late sixties. He likes to read, work puzzles and enjoys a bicycle ride every now and then. Lately, he has had some challenging back problems, and on top of that, he recently became aware that he is a borderline diabetic. This news motivated him to take action before it’s too late. He wanted a way to take control and not let his recently-diagnosed diabetes dictate his life and what he wants to do.
For most of her life, Elaine didn’t worry much about her health. Then in 1995, she broke her ankle. The chronic pain lasted for 20 years, making it difficult for her to walk even today. On top of the persistent and overwhelming chronic pain, at a recent doctor’s visit she was told she was pre-diabetic. She was often tired, feeling hopeless and even a little depressed. She wanted a solution. A way to “take control of her health” and feel like herself again.