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. 

Eating Better, Losing Weight and Gaining Confidence

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.
EDC Logo PictureThis particular EDC workshop series used the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) curriculum, which was developed at the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago to help individuals better understand diabetes and its management. 
Sandy said the most valuable lesson learned from the educational series was about nutrition. Feeling empowered, she now realizes that she’s been eating too much. As a result of the class, she measures food, checks the serving size and reads labels.
“I didn’t know eating a whole banana was 30 carbohydrates,” Sandy said. 
With support from her husband and daughters, she stays on track and eats healthier and smaller portions. Now, she eats half of a banana at a time, which is an appropriate portion for a person with diabetes. As a result, she has dropped 10 pounds since the series ended.
Additionally, Sandy learned to be consistent with monitoring her blood sugar and making sure it stays within healthy levels. The series provided participants with the most recent blood sugar guidelines from the American Diabetes Association, which explain that a blood sugar level of 70 mg/dl is too low and over 180 mg/dl two hours after eating is too high.  
Sandy attributes her motivation to keeping herself healthy. She also knows the importance of keeping her family healthy and reducing risk factors associated with diabetes. She is doing everything she can to prevent any of her daughters from getting diabetes in the future. Fortunately, she now has tools and techniques to use that can help. 
Sandy is a fan of arts and crafts and also enjoys playing softball with her family. While she used to struggle to keep up with them, she is delighted to say she is no longer gasping for air and can happily and confidently participate in social activities with her family. 
“Hard work and determination always pays off,” Sandy declared. “It helped me significantly and I would recommend all people attend the workshop. The facilitator was excellent. The information is great and can also help with prevention. Regardless if someone has diabetes or not, people need that information.”
Quality Insights partners with community organizations, physician practices, and more to offer free diabetes self-management education throughout New Jersey as part of the national Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program. View a list of upcoming classes or call Jarmaine Williams at (732) 955-8168 to learn more.