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. 


Turning Small Steps into Large Accomplishments

5/20/2019
Joyce Payne PictureMrs. Payne was diagnosed with prediabetes about six years ago. A previous superintendent and teacher, she enjoys baking, singing, acting, reading and writing. A friend from church informed her about a free diabetes program taking place at Willingboro Public Library, and she decided to give it a try.

The Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), which was facilitated as part of Quality Insights’ Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program, took place in April 2017. EDC is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The program consisted of an evidence-based workshop series that occurred once a week for six weeks, for two and a half hours. Workshops provided a self-management toolkit which encouraged behavior modification. Some topics included healthy eating, meal planning, exercise, effective communication, problem solving, self-monitoring and dealing with difficult emotions.

 
EDC Logo PictureSince then, Mrs. Payne has taken many steps to live a much healthier life.
 
She is cognizant of everything she puts in her mouth and also eats smaller portions. For example, instead of eating an entire hoagie, she will just eat half. She limits red meat and has cut soda from her diet. She also eats more foods that are lower in carbohydrates and fats, such as vegetables and fresh fruits. Moreover, she makes sure to read food labels when grocery shopping.
 
She is also walking more at the local track in her community.
 
Since her blood glucose numbers have improved so much, her doctor reduced the amount of times she is required to monitor her blood sugar.
 
Mrs. Payne is more aware of the educational aspect of diabetes and how important it is to stay alert on the latest news and research.
 
“I can share with other people what they need to know to live healthier,” Mrs. Payne said.
 
Mrs. Payne took small, gradual steps needed to take control of her health. As she tackled one thing at a time, taking care of her health came to feel more natural and she began to see some impressive progress.
 
“Start small,” she said. “You don’t need to start all at once.”
 
The most valuable lesson Mrs. Payne learned was that lifestyle can directly determine how healthy you are.
 
“There are numerous resources out there we can rely on and talk to,” she expressed. “It is important to keep your eye on the prize, with the prize being a healthier life.”
 
As a result of the workshop, Mrs. Payne now has a better outlook on life and an increased quality of life. She believes the knowledge she gained might help her live a longer life. She is motivated by her grandchildren and wants to be around for them as long as she can.
 
“Millions of people are affected by diabetes,” she said. “You are not alone. We can always go to someone to help us along this journey.”
 
Mrs. Payne is grateful she was given the opportunity to participate in this workshop from her friend at church, Mrs. Bernice Johnson (Williams).  Mrs. Johnson started her own company, Evidence-Based Solutions to Health, in 2014 to work with the health care system and empower vulnerable populations with chronic conditions to improve their own health through evidence-based programming.  After investing over 30 years of oversight, program development and administration of public health, Johnson dedicated another decade to non-profit community health where she was increasingly faced with the egregious state of chronic illnesses among the underserved population. 
 
Since July 2014, Quality Insights has been working to improve health outcomes and reduce issues of disparities for people with Medicare who have diabetes as part of the national Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program. Learn more. To locate an organization offering DSMP in NJ, visit https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/home/tchagencies.html.