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. 

Married Couple Finds Comfort through a Diabetes Program in their Community

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. 
EDC LogoIris says she was searching for answers about her diabetes that her doctors were not giving her. She wanted to know and understand ways to manage her condition without simply being told to “lose weight.” She needed a solution, which is why she was grateful she came across a free diabetes program that was happening at a nearby hospital, Shore Medical Center.
The evidence-based Stanford University Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) consists of a six-week workshop series that aims to give people with diabetes and their caregivers the tools and education needed to take a more active role in their healthcare. The curriculum reviews topics of healthy eating, exercise, stress management, appropriate medication usage, how to prevent diabetes-related complications, action planning and more.
Iris decided to attend the workshops with her support system, her husband.
“It surpassed my expectations,” Iris said. “The information was well-presented and working with others was a plus. The workshops incorporate activities that involve working with partners or groups. All of them had so much information to share. We enjoyed meeting and forming friendships with other people in our community that are going through similar things that we are.”
The workshops go into detail about how to maintain a diet for someone with diabetes. At the final session of the workshop series, participants receive a complimentary book called Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions. Using the book, attendees participate in a meal planning activity that includes figuring out the correct number of proteins and carbohydrates for a properly portioned meal. Iris said that this was her favorite segment of the six-week workshop series.
“The book is excellent,” she said.
Two Master Trainers, both of whom went through a detailed training process, co-facilitated these workshops. Karen, one of the Master Trainers, noted Iris’ serious attitude toward the workshops.
“We received updated information from the American Diabetes Association and had changed a blood sugar number on one of our charts, and Iris pointed it out,” Karen said. “Iris had been taking notes each session and was on top of this, proving that she was determined and ardent about making a difference in her health and life.”
“I would recommend the workshops to anyone who has an interest to learn,” Delbert said. “It was a great learning experience and I’m thankful to complete this program with my wife while encouraging and supporting her throughout the way.”
As a result of the workshops, Iris feels more in control and aware of ways to manage her health and diabetes.
“I now have the information that I need,” Iris declared. “I need to keep pushing myself.”
Delbert will continue to provide endless support for Iris and they both look forward to sharing information about this program with their family and friends.
Supported locally by Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc. (HQSI), Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network offers DSMP throughout New Jersey as part of the national Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) project.  There are scheduled workshops coming up in Middlesex County, Atlantic County, Monmouth County, Union County, Essex County, Cape May County, and Mercer County. Anyone interested in learning more about the program, hosting a workshop, or becoming a Peer Leader to co-facilitate the program can contact Jarmaine Williams at (732) 955-8168 or