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. 


Stronger Together: How Partnerships Boost the Everyone with Diabetes Counts Program

11/8/2018
Maggie Weaver PhotoThe Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program is a national initiative that strives to improve the health of individuals with diabetes. Trained leaders coordinate free workshops and teach participants how to prevent complications, make healthy food choices, deal with stress and difficult emotions, manage medications and much more.
 
Locally, Quality Insights partners with community organizations to support EDC efforts in New Jersey. This program would not be possible without valuable partners like Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Atlantic & Cape May Counties.
 
 

EDC Logo Picture 7In November of 2015, through Nurse Educator Maggie Weaver, RN, the JFS became one of the first official organizations to join EDC and partner with Quality Insights. JFS’s mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential to achieve personal goals and enhance their quality of life through a wide range of supports. JFS is a multi-service agency that is dedicated to providing services to the entire community regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. The agency has been serving southern NJ for over 80 years and provides care for more than 8,000 individuals.
 
Through this partnership, Maggie co-facilitates the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) as a peer leader and assists with data collection of pre and post surveys. As a nurse educator, Maggie supports the adult community within Atlantic and Cape May counties through workshops and one-on-one consultations centered on health and wellness education. She is a 45-year veteran in nursing, healthy eating and planning and has been a DSMP peer leader since 2015. 
 
As a peer leader, Maggie enjoys seeing the light bulb go off for class participants. 
 
“Being a part of that moment when things come together for an attendee is remarkable,” she notes. “An example would be when a participant makes the connection that their fatigue comes from a high carbohydrate meal, which they can control, or that diabetes is not their fault.”
 
Class participants make weekly action plans, share experiences and help each other solve problems related to their chronic condition. 
 
Maggie explains, “I have learned how the participants can empower each other.” 
 
In addition to the knowledge she has gained as an instructor, Maggie’s personal experience has also prepared her for this role. While Maggie was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, her spouse has type 1 diabetes. Becoming an educator has helped both her and her husband better manage their health. She describes her main take-away regarding self-management as “a little bit of change in meal planning, such as making a better choice and adding activities after a meal, can really make a big difference in managing blood sugars.”
 
Through Maggie’s experience at JFS, she has been able to interface with many people and help them achieve healthier lifestyles. This includes JFS outreach staff, agency partners including the Jewish Community Center, Atlantic City Rescue Mission, AtlantiCare and so many more in the community. Maggie recommends the DSMP workshop to those who have diabetes, pre-diabetes, are caregivers of people with diabetes, and anyone interested in the subject. Many of Maggie’s participants recommend her workshops especially for those who have recently had a scare when their condition worsened. One such participant remarked how having others around who are also struggling helps her follow through with behavior and lifestyle changes.
 
For anyone interested in completing the four-day training to become a certified DSMP peer leader, Maggie offers the following advice, “A prospective leader should expect to be challenged. Know that you are not required to have all the answers. Be sure to have referrals and resource materials available. Your life experiences will be appreciated and you will gain more than you’ll ever realize from the community of those living with diabetes.”
 
About Everyone with Diabetes Counts
 
EDC is a national initiative funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and offers free self-management workshops to people with Medicare who have diabetes, their family members and caregivers. Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, supported locally by HQSI, offers the free workshops throughout New Jersey. Workshops are designed to educate individuals about diabetes and help them learn how to manage it and take control of their health through various tools, behavior modification and coping techniques. Participants learn about diabetes and its risks, preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, how to deal with stress and difficult emotions, managing medications and much more.
 
To learn more or find an upcoming workshop in your area, call Jarmaine Williams at (732) 955-8168 or check out our class listing page. To learn more about JFS of Atlantic & Cape May Counties, visit www.jfsatlantic.org/