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Little Egg Harbor Councilwoman Joins Fight Against Diabetes

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by Christina Destro

EAST BRUNSWICK-Committeewoman Lisa Stevens of Little Egg Harbor recently visited a graduating class of twelve New Jersey residents of Stanford University’s evidence-based Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) at the Little Egg Harbor Township Community Center.

DSMP is part of the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program, a national initiative funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and coordinated in New Jersey by Quality Insights, a Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization. Meals on Wheels of Ocean County and the Ocean County Office of Senior Services partnered with Quality Insights to offer this program. It consists of an interactive six-week workshop series where individuals learn about the importance of self-management of their diabetes through various tools.

Diabetes is known as the most common cause of blindness, kidney failure, and amputations in adults and is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, Community Health and Wellness Unit, there were 1,072 hospitalizations for diabetes among Ocean County residents in 2013.

Stevens acknowledges the severity of diabetes and the need for this healthy initiative in the community.

“What I hope is that people recognize the early symptoms of diabetes and see their doctor, discuss their concerns and take advantage of programs like this,” Stevens said. “As with many other acute-to-chronic health issues, early detection can possibly prevent the onset of adult diabetes. It is organizations like these that people in our community can rely on for information, education and support free of charge.

Stevens had the opportunity to interact with the workshop graduates and awarded each of them with a specialized certificate.

“It has made a difference,” Evelyn, a workshop graduate, said. “I have learned so much about healthy eating, meal planning, and exercise.”

The workshop graduates made small, gradual changes to their behaviors and learned how to better manage diabetes, which led to a noticeable improvement in many of their blood sugar levels.

Since the workshop was such a success, two more have been planned for 2017.

  • The first workshop will take place in the morning at the Little Egg Harbor Township Community Center on 317 W. Cala Breeze Way in Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087, on Thursdays from February 2, 2017 to March 9, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • The second workshop will take place in the afternoon at the Church of the Holy Spirit on 220 East Main Street in Tuckerton, NJ 08087, on Thursdays from February 2, 2017 to March 9, 2017 from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Anyone interested in either of these free workshops can call Jarmaine Williams at (732) 955-8168.

Quality Insights supports the facilitation of DSMP workshops throughout Little Egg Harbor, Tuckerton, and New Jersey.  To get involved, contact Maeve Walsh, DSMP Master Trainer, at (732) 955-8126 or mwalsh@hqsi.org. Visit www.qualityinsights-qin.org to learn more. For updates on healthy initiatives in Little Egg Harbor, visit www.leht.com.

 

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