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. 

Peer Leaders Are Making a Difference that Matters

EDC Class Members PictureTwelve individuals recently completed a comprehensive four-day training that will allow them to educate and empower people with diabetes throughout New Jersey.
“I can’t wait to go out into the field and motivate people to self-manage their diabetes,” Felix Ollenu, Project Coordinator at Healthcare Quality Strategies (HQSI) and newly graduated Peer Leader, said.  
The individuals became trained Peer Leaders in the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), an evidence-based program originally developed at Stanford University. The training consists of an interactive workshop series that occurs once a week for six weeks, for two and a half hours. 
EDC Logo PicturePeer Leaders learned how to facilitate a program that helps people understand the role diabetes plays in their lives, create action plans and use problem solving, eat healthier and exercise safely and easily, relax and handle difficult emotions, and communicate better.
The 12 individuals came from different backgrounds, but joined together to give back to their communities. The group consisted of YMCA directors and employees, project coordinators, community health workers (CHWs), dieticians, patient navigators, and master of public health (MPH) students. 
EDC Union Peer Leader Training Picture
Peer Leaders proudly show off their new certificates.
Top Row (L to R): Jason Konig, Felix Ollennu, Mike Johnson, Paulette Rasul, Lazara Paz-Gonzalez, Sabera Saleh, Ana Padilla, Jennifer Reyes

Bottom Row (L to R): Maeve Walsh, Donna Peart, Jami Mansing, Kristian Galindo, Sajana Patel, Christina Destro
The training was facilitated by two Master Trainers from HQSI – Christina Destro and Maeve Walsh. 
“My overall experience from the Peer Leader training was wonderful, informative, and also fun!” Kristian Galindo, a CHW from Zufall Health Center in Dover, said.
Peer Leaders had to complete two practice teaching presentations, action plans, problem solving and brainstorming activities, and other scenarios to prepare them to go out in the field.
“I could really make a difference in people’s lives,” Paulette Rasul, a Chronic Disease Lifestyle Coach at The Gateway Family YMCA, Elizabeth Branch in Elizabeth, said. “And I feel good about that!” 
“The Y is looking forward to providing DSMP opportunities as this compliments our current Chronic Disease programming,” Mike Johnson, Director of Association Initiatives at The Gateway Family YMCA, added. 
“These Peer Leaders are passionate and will definitely experience the satisfaction of improving and changing lives,” Christina Destro, DSMP Master Trainer and Communications Outreach Coordinator at HQSI, said.
According to an article published on Mental Floss, studies indicate that giving back to the community enhances happiness, health and provides a sense of well-being.
Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, supported locally by HQSI, offers DSMP workshops and Peer Leader trainings as part of the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program. The EDC program is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 
Quality Insights offers free diabetes programs for people with Medicare who have diabetes in communities throughout the entire state, including: Browns Mills, East Orange, Edison, Englewood, Haleyville, Hammonton, Hoboken, Jersey City, Leesburg, Millville, Newark, New Brunswick, Newton, Oak Ridge, Parlin, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainfield, Somerset, Trenton, Tuckerton, Union, and Willingboro.
Space is limited. To learn more or register an upcoming program, call Jarmaine Williams at (732) 955-8168 or view a list of upcoming classes.