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Feb 26, 2015
Past NDEP Chair Marti Funnell Highlights the Emotional Aspects of Diabetes.
As a trained diabetes educator and nurse, Marti Funnell understood the importance of patient-centered care long before it became a catch phrase in the era of health care reform.
Funnell, a national leader in diabetes education, was the first non-physician to serve as National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) Chair from 2008 until 2011, and she has worked as an associate research scientist at the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Learning Health Sciences since 2012. Her range of experience in both research and practice—which includes working as a staff nurse at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. early in her career—prepared her for what excites her most in her profession today: a greater focus on patient-centered care and the emotional side of diabetes.
As she explained, the NDEP spent many years developing and promoting messages on what patients should do, but that was not enough to help people change their lifestyles and improve their health.
“We gave a lot of messages that you need to exercise and eat better, but everybody kind of knows that,” Funnell said. What the NDEP had not done, she continued, was explain exactly how people can also make those lifestyle changes. “You don’t just change behavior based on knowledge. You have to understand the ‘why,’ and it’s also helping people figure out the ‘how.’”
Enter Diabetes HealthSense, the NDEP’s online library of resources for patients and health care professionals to help people with diabetes live well, meet their goals, and improve their health. According to Funnell, Diabetes HealthSense has been instrumental in the effort to assist patients in managing their diabetes.
“It goes beyond tips. It’s helping people put it all together,” she said of the NDEP’s purpose and mission. “We came to recognition that we needed to focus on helping patients change behavior, and Diabetes HealthSense was a big part of that effort.” Funnell considers this work—and the effects it has had on patients—as one of the NDEP’s important accomplishments to date.
And it is this effort that connects so well with what Funnell calls the “emotional side” of diabetes. That aspect is an additional factor that all patients, as well as their families, must live with and must manage each day.
“There’s this underlying sense that this is a tough disease to live with, so helping people address that component affects their behavior and metabolic outcomes,” Funnell said. The starting point for that conversation, she explained, is to help patients assess the hardest aspect of diabetes is for them, rather than launch into a spiel on diabetes.
Looking ahead, Funnell said she hopes both patients and health care professionals know about the valuable resources the NDEP has to offer.
“We have done a really good job,” she said, “creating materials that fit in the world of diabetes today.”
Jan 29, 2015
NDEP Materials Featured in the ADRC of Waukesha County Diabetes Management Workshops.
Outreach and Promotions
In Waukesha County, Wisc., the NDEP has proven to be a useful source of content for the Healthy Living with Diabetes workshops that the Aging and Disability Center (ADRC) of Waukesha County offers area residents.
The six-week workshops, written and designed by Stanford University and implemented by the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging, are funded through the Older Americans Act, and pair participants with volunteer trainers who offer instruction on diabetes self-management. NDEP’s content and resources play an essential role in the development process.
“I gather different resources from the NDEP website and love including them in the workshops,” says Lee Clay, Health Education Coordinator at the ADRC of Waukesha County. “Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers fits in perfectly when explaining how people with diabetes should maintain a log of their blood glucose numbers and know the range the numbers should be in,” she added.
Other NDEP resources featured in the workshops include 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life, Taking Care of Your Diabetes Means Taking Care of Your Heart, and the Take Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime booklet. The “Managing Diabetes, It’s Not Easy but it’s Worth It” posters also make an appearance at all of the trainings. “It helps reinforce the work the participants are doing to make lifestyle changes to have healthier lives,” Clay says. “They couldn’t be doing more important work.”
For more information about the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Waukesha Wisconsin, please contact Lee Clay at LClay@waukeshacounty.gov.
Jan 23, 2015
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.
Jan 06, 2015
Leading diabetes educator Linda Siminerio becomes new NDEP chair
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.
“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.”
Oct 30, 2014
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.