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NDEP Thanks Partners for a Successful 2014!

The NDEP thanks its partners for their hard work in using NDEP resources and educating Americans about diabetes management and prevention.

For nearly two decades, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has worked to raise awareness about diabetes and reduce the burden of this chronic disease in the United States. The program’s success is due in large part to NDEP’s work with more than 200 partners, which include state and local health departments, professional health care societies, community-based organizations, business leaders and key federal agencies.

2014 was a significant year for the NDEP, as the federally funded program kicked off an ambitious five-year Strategic Plan that applies a three-pronged strategy to help reduce the burden of diabetes nationwide through behavior change, within clinical settings, and throughout the community.

The NDEP appreciates the hard work of its partners, who have helped the program execute the Strategic Plan in several ways in the last year. Fulfilling the Strategic Plan’s first strategy—to promote model practice/community programs that facilitate prevention and self-management of diabetes—the NDEP worked with its partner, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), to explore how diabetes educators can use NDEP’s Diabetes HealthSense in their practices.

Focused on the Strategic Plan’s second strategy of promoting models for team care in the clinical setting, the NDEP worked with the American College of Physicians to support ACPs use of the NDEP’s Practice Transformation resource in the “ACP Quality Champion: Diabetes” training-for-transformation-leadership symposium. The NDEP’s work with several supporting health care organizations led to the release of Guiding Principles for the Care of People With or at Risk for Diabetes, a set of 10 clinically useful best practices in diabetes management and prevention.

At the community level—where the third strategy of the Strategic Plan calls for an increase in the adoption of NDEP tools and resources—the Diabetes Community Action Coalition of Fulton County used NDEP’s Choose More than 50 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes to create a workshop about preventing diabetes. Several partners used NDEP resources such as the Road to Health toolkit in their communities and helped build awareness about National Diabetes Prevention Programs in their states. Also during the year, the NDEP relied on its strong partner network to pretest materials that were revised for plain language principles.

Thank you to all of NDEP’s partners for applying NDEP’s resources and serving as strong examples to other organizations that are committed to reducing the burden of diabetes across America!

Please visit NDEP’s Partner Spotlight page to learn about the innovative and effective work of NDEP partners throughout 2014.


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January Partner Spotlight

Leading diabetes educator Linda Siminerio becomes new NDEP chair

Partner Spotlight: Linda Siminerio

As a nurse, diabetes educator, and professor, Linda Siminerio has spent more than 40 years advancing diabetes education in the United States. Now she’s excited to continue those efforts on a national scale in her latest role: the leader of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP).

Siminerio, R.N., Ph.D, takes the helm of the NDEP this January when she succeeds John Buse, M.D., Ph.D. and begins her two-year term as NDEP Chair. A professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Siminerio also serves as executive director of the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute. Already active in the NDEP through her work with the NDEP’s Diabetes HealthSense Task Group and the NDEP’s Executive Committee, Siminerio recently reflected on the federal program’s core strengths and greatest opportunities.

“It seems like the NDEP and the folks who have been involved in it—including our partners—always seem to be one step ahead of where healthcare is going,” Siminerio said, adding that areas such as medication adherence and practice transformation are just the latest examples of this. “These are relatively new concepts in disease management and here we are in diabetes taking the lead on these programs.”

And it’s that innovation and foresight that makes NDEP stand out as a leading health education program, according to Siminerio.

Partner Spotlight: Linda Siminerio“I do a lot of global work and I’m always so amazed that our country recognizes diabetes is a problem, and that education for patients, providers and the community is so important that we have a national diabetes education program,” she said.

As she prepares to lead the NDEP, Siminerio said she will focus on making sure people know and understand that NDEP’s resources are valuable tools in chronic-disease management.

“What kinds of strategies do we need to get folks ongoing support: is it through technology, community, peers? Those resources are available through the NDEP,” Siminerio said. For instance, the online library Diabetes HealthSense provides several resources for diabetes educators today, and the work of the NDEP’s Medication Adherence Task Group will provide additional resources in the near future.

To spread the word—and work—of the NDEP, Siminerio says she will focus on a primary goal of the NDEP Strategic Plan that kicked off in 2014: engaging partners.

“If there are partnerships that are working, what’s the secret?” she said. “We have to rely on our partners,” she added, “We all - in our organizations - have something to offer. I don’t care what specialty you go into—you are going to be working with someone with diabetes.”


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November is National Diabetes Month!

To support National Diabetes Month this November, the NDEP and its partners want people to Be Smart About Your Heart: Control the ABCs of Diabetes

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and it is estimated that one in every four people with diabetes does not even know they have the disease. If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.

The good news is that people with diabetes can lower their chances of having diabetes-related heart problems by managing their Diabetes ABCs.

  • A is for the A1C test (A-one-C). This is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar (glucose) level over the past three months.
  • B is for Blood pressure.
  • C is for Cholesterol.
  • S is for stopping smoking.

NDEP offers many resources to help people with diabetes take important steps to stay healthy and prevent diabetes-related heart problems. For more information, as well as promotional tools you can use to promote National Diabetes Month in your community visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org/DiabetesMonth2014.


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November Partner Spotlight

Outgoing Executive Committee Chair Reflects on NDEP’s Past Achievements, Future Possibilities

Partner Spotlight: Dr. John Buse

As he concludes his term as the National Diabetes Education Program’s (NDEP) Executive Committee Chair, Dr. John Buse says the federal program’s most important recent achievement is one that holds the greatest promise for its future: the NDEP Strategic Plan.

The five-year plan kicked off this year and is the result of work that NDEP’s Strategic Planning Task Group began in September 2012. NDEP’s Executive Committee, which Dr. Buse began chairing earlier that same year, challenged the task group to identify clear areas of focus for the next five years in areas where NDEP’s strengths could help make a significant difference in diabetes outcomes.

The Strategic Plan is most notable for shifting the NDEP’s primary focus from delivering health messages directly to the general public to improving the NDEP’s engagement with partner organizations representing health care professionals, including community health workers and community-based organizations. And Dr. Buse—who earned both his M.D. and Ph.D. at Duke University—says that shift has “turned the NDEP on its head.” Even so, he says the ambitious plan is “doable.” Partner Spotlight: Dr. John BuseAs he explains, NDEP’s budget and personnel are considerably smaller than the budgets and resources of the nation’s pharmaceutical companies and device-makers, and many U.S. health care systems are able to spend more on diabetes education and engagement than the NDEP. That’s why the Strategic Plan’s emphasis on engaging partners—which the Strategic Plan defines in a broad sense as any organization or institution interested in improving diabetes care for their constituents or members—is so important.

“The NDEP in the past developed amazing materials, but my hope is in the future we will really serve much more of a role as a catalyst and curator,” Dr. Buse says. “If there are materials out there, we’ll find them. If there are not, we’ll make sure someone else helps us develop them—if we don’t develop them ourselves.”

In addition to leading the NDEP’s Executive Committee, Dr. Buse is also Chair of NDEP’s Medication Adherence Task Group, which will organize and consolidate information and tools to support health care professionals and community-based organizations in improving medication adherence among people with diabetes. According to Dr. Buse, the success of the Medication Adherence Task Group depends largely on shared decision-making in the patient-provider relationship. One of Dr. Buse’s most memorable examples of the importance of shared decision-making came in the late 1980s, when a patient chastised him after he lectured her on smoking. That made him realize not to tell the patient what to do, but rather to learn what the patient is already doing and then provide options and treatment strategies while developing a shared understanding of what the patient and provider can do together.

“Think coach, not drill sergeant,” Dr. Buse says. “It’s not the algorithms; it’s not the pamphlets; it’s not the drugs. It’s the relationship that’s most important.”


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September Partner Spotlight

NDEP Materials a Valuable Tool in Alabama’s Schools, Senior Centers & Prisons

Partner Spotlight: Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, Alabama Department of Public Health

Ask anyone in the Alabama public health department’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (DPCP) and they’ll tell you the NDEP’s Road to Health toolkit has lived up to its name, serving as a map to help educate Alabamans about diabetes in schools, senior centers, and prisons throughout the state.

Intended especially for African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos at risk for type 2 diabetes, the Road to Heath toolkit provides materials for community health workers to develop an outreach program that emphasizes type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented. Debra Griffin, the DPCP’s diabetes nurse educator, says Road to Heath is most effective for its simple, three-pronged message about healthy food choices, exercise and weight loss.

Partner Spotlight: Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, Alabama Department of Public Health
Students in the Diabetes Ambassador Program at Resurrection Catholic School with LaMont Pack (far left) and school principal Sr. Gail Trippett in March 2014

In the last year and a half, DPCP staff members have hosted Road to Health sessions at 15 senior centers, where they educated about 355 residents. And they trained employees at the Alabama Office of Minority Health, who, in turn, led a Road to Health course at four prisons.

LaMont Pack, the DPCP’s community-clinical linkages manager, says he’s also visited “churches that you can’t get to with a GPS” to spread the word about how to prevent and manage diabetes.

“The things you do to prevent diabetes are the same things you do to prevent its complications: nutrition and physical activity,” Pack says.

Meanwhile, Pack and his staff have used other NDEP resources to educate the younger generation about diabetes and its effects. In March, Montgomery, Ala.-based Resurrection Catholic School implemented the Diabetes Ambassador Program, in which seven student ambassadors educated their peers, teachers, school staff members, and parents about diabetes prevention. The students wore Blue Circle pins from the International Diabetes Federation to promote the global symbol for diabetes, and on March 25—Diabetes Alert Day—the school’s principal allowed students to wear the color blue (instead of their required uniforms) to raise awareness about diabetes.


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