New Jersey NEWS

November is American Diabetes Month: EDC Program Helps People with Diabetes through Free Workshops

11/9/2016
November is American Diabetes Month and Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network’s Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program is working with community partners and health care providers to improve health outcomes and quality of life among people with diabetes in New Jersey.
 
The EDC program, supported locally by Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc. (HQSI), offers free diabetes workshops throughout the five-state Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, which includes Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. EDC is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
 
Today, 1 in 11 Americans are living with diabetes and many more are at risk for developing it. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, Community Health and Wellness Unit, 21.4% of adults aged 65 and over have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is known as the most common cause of blindness, kidney failure, and amputations in adults and is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.                  
 
The EDC program takes on a multifaceted approach. The program engages patients in self-management workshops with weekly group sessions over a six-week period. Participants learn about preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, self-monitoring, dealing with stress and difficult emotions, managing medications, effective communication with healthcare providers and much more. Additionally, the program engages healthcare providers to improve their adherence to standards of care for people with diabetes and refer patients to the self-management workshops. HQSI also partners with federal, state, and local agencies, universities, communities, and private businesses.
 
To date, 631 people with diabetes have successfully graduated from EDC workshops in New Jersey. These graduates have lost weight, gained more confidence, made friends in their community, learned new ways to relax, and got their blood sugar levels in check. 
 
“As we celebrate the holiday season with families and friends, we want to be mindful of people living with diabetes and the challenges they face every day with the disease,” Ya-ping Su, PhD, New Jersey State Program Director and Task Lead, said. “Through these workshops, they will understand that they are not alone. They can get the information they need to manage the disease and improve their quality of life.”
 
In addition to offering free workshops to the community, HQSI will be hosting a free Peer Leader training for volunteers who would like to be trained in the program.
 
For more information about the EDC program and a listing of currently scheduled workshops, or contact Jarmaine Williams by calling (732) 955-8168 or e-mailing jwilliams@hqsi.org. For more information on American Diabetes Month, visit www.diabetes.org.