west virginia success stories

WV 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. 

We encourage you to read the success stories, contact us for more information, and also let us know if you have a Quality Insights' success storyto share.

Exemplifying Bravery through Life and Health: Willie's Story

EDC LogoPastor Willie Lewis recently completed the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program with his wife Della at Maranatha Baptist Church in Madison, WV. Pastor Lewis is the primary caregiver for his wife who has diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD).  While he is also debilitated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), he still is very active in the community and serves as the Pastor for the Greater Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Holden, WV. 

Pastor Lewis and Della
Pastor Willie Lewis proudly holding his Purple Heart Award with his wife Della
“My wife has diabetes,” Pastor Lewis said. “She takes medication and we were interested in making sure we knew more about managing medications and the importance of nutrition. The class helped us realize how dangerous it can be to not have proper management of our nutrition. As a result of the class, we’re really watching what we eat.” 
Pastor Lewis found the classes important and appreciated the instructor’s attention to detail.
“My wife and I thought the classes were very good,” Pastor Lewis said. “I have instructor experience with my time as a medic in the Army and I really appreciated how our instructor – Natalie Tappe – conducted the class. She left no question unanswered.”

The Purple Heart

Pastor Willie Lewis is a dedicated husband, father and veteran who recently received one of the most prestigious awards a member of the military can receive – the Purple Heart Award.
During the his time participating in the EDC class, Pastor Lewis was awarded the Purple Heart for being a Prisoner of War (POW) in the Korean War.  The award was 52 years in the making, because the US government listed him as deceased after the war.  He received his Purple Heart Award at a ceremony at the West Virginia State Capitol in September 2015. US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) presented him with his medal.
Pastor Lewis is a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He grew up in Logan County, West Virginia and was drafted by the US Army in 1951. During the Korean War, Pastor Lewis was captured and separated from his unit during an attack in 1953. He was held as a Prisoner of War (POW) until the end of the Korean conflict. He reenlisted in the US Army in 1954 and married his wife, Della. His following 23 years of service involved one combat tour in Vietnam.
Today, Pastor Lewis serves as the State Commander of the WV ex POWs, the Chaplain and Chairman of the WV Veterans Coalition and Chaplain for the 92nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion. He also serves as Chaplain for the Aracoma High School Association.   
He is thankful for his experience participating in the EDC classes.
“The information was very important for us,” he said. “We wish more people could attend.”  

About EDC 

EDC Logo

EDC in West Virginia uses the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) curriculum created by the University of Illinois at Chicago. DEEP teaches people with diabetes and/or their caregivers the skills they need to be in control of their health. Consisting of six weekly classes, participants learn about diabetes risks, nutrition, weight management, how to properly manage medications and much more. Based on group interaction and working together, the classes empower and inspire the participants to feel confident about their health and themselves.
Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network offers diabetes classes throughout West Virginia as part of the national Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program. Anyone interested in learning more about the program, hosting a class, or becoming a peer educator to facilitate the program can contact Leigh Rice, Project Coordinator, at (304) 346-9864 ext. 3221 or lrice@wvmi.org.