New Jersey NEWS

Arm Yourself with Knowledge in the Fight against Diabetes: March 22 is American Diabetes Alert Day

3/15/2016
March 22 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 New Jersey 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, nearly one-third of adults 65 years and older have diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. In New Jersey, approximately 30.9 percent of people aged 65 and over with Medicare have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (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.                    
 
“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 – supported locally by Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc. – is improving the health of people with diabetes by offering free diabetes self-management education through the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program. EDC is a national initiative of 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. Workshops follow the Diabetes Self-Management Program created by the Stanford School of Medicine. Workshops are designed to help participants manage their own health and take control of their diabetes. Participants learn about diabetes risks, how to prevent health problems, the role of diet and exercise, how to deal with pain and fatigue, managing medications, effective communication with healthcare providers and much more. In New Jersey, EDC workshops are typically held in places like senior centers, community centers, libraries and churches.  There is no cost to participate in the program.
 
In addition to offering free workshops to the community, the program works with health care providers and community volunteers by training them to teach workshops themselves. The program also engages community partners to support efforts by promoting workshops within the community, donating meeting space, recruiting potential new peer leaders and much more.
 
“Through the EDC program, we bring communities together to learn about, prevent and control diabetes,” Tappe said. 
 
Learn more about the EDC program and get a listing of currently scheduled workshops, or contact Karen Hale, Outreach Coordinator and Diabetes Master Trainer, by calling (732) 955-8148 or e-mailing Karen.Hale@area-J.hcqis.org.  For more information on American Diabetes Alert Day, visit www.diabetes.org.
 
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.