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.

Local Doctor's Office Inspired to Offer Classes to Community

EDC Logo Picture 6When staff from a local doctor’s office experienced an increase in the number of patients asking for help managing their diabetes, they saw an opportunity with free diabetes self-management classes through the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program.  EDC, which is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), provides free diabetes self-management classes to people with Medicare, their family members and caregivers.
Class PicPatricia “Trish” Harvey, a medical assistant at the family practice office of Dr. Kelly Pitsenbarger in Raleigh County, WV, wanted to host the classes at the office as a way to provide patients with more in-depth care surrounding diabetes. Dr. Pitsenbarger fully supported the initiative. 
In her many years working with Dr. Pitsenbarger, Trish has helped care for a number of people with diabetes. Living and working in the same community with many of them, Trish considers herself to be a dependable member of their health care team. In fact, patients often come straight to her with questions about how to better manage diabetes. 
Portion Control Pic“During regular office hours, there never seems to be enough time to give our patients all the information we would like them to have to better manage diabetes," she said. “So this seemed like a great opportunity.”
EDC classes usually take place once a week for six weeks, for about two hours each time. Participants learn about healthy eating, action planning, problem solving, self-monitoring, positive thinking, dealing with stress, foot care, medications, exercise and more.
"Our patients trust us and we knew they would be relaxed in this setting,” she said. “They can ask any question and learn together. Many of our patients already know each other, and so the group setting is a good environment for them to learn.”
After completing her training to teach EDC, Trish wasted no time scheduling her first series of classes, which began on Wednesday mornings prior to regular office hours.
One of Trish’s favorite classes to teach within the series involved meal planning.  She used an array of visual props that included a deck of cards to demonstrate the portion of chicken, turkey, or fish that would be appropriate on a diabetes-friendly dinner plate.  She also used a light bulb to demonstrate a portion of a cup of non-starchy vegetables and other examples, such as dice and a tennis ball.
“Trish did an outstanding job with her EDC class,” Susie Sims, Project Coordinator for EDC in West Virginia, said. “She spent a lot of extra time setting up tools.”
After the meal planning class, Trish held a drawing where one class participant could win a basket of produce donated from a local gardener. At the last class in the series, participants presented Trish with a vase of fresh flowers to express their appreciation for all the effort she put into the classes. 
Quality Insights coordinates the EDC program in West Virginia. EDC uses the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) curriculum developed at the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. DEEP helps individuals better understand diabetes and its management.
To learn more about the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program, please contact Susie Sims at (304) 346-9864, ext. 3221 or email ssims@qualityinsights.org. To view a list of upcoming classes, visit us online at www.qualityinsights-qin.org/diabetes.