Empowering Fort Wayne Communities To Self-Manage Diabetes

The Self-Manage Diabetes class is designed to reach the African American population in selected regions of Fort Wayne. HealthVisions of Fort Wayne partnered with churches, senior citizens housing, and organizations to offer the program.

Community Health Workers facilitate the educational sessions and support groups, providing one-on-one attention and follow-up with program participants. The program utilizes the Stanford Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) curriculum and materials. The curriculum is designed to reach adults 18 years and older, and includes topics on diabetes selfmanagement and chronic disease in a six week session.

 

A young woman that attended the class had just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She was very much in denial and thought this was like a death sentence, due to all the uncertainty and challenges she was facing. Three weeks into the six week session, Maria shared a heartwarming
testimony; a success story that reflects the benefit of setting small goals and developing a personal “Action Plan.” Maria‘s action plan consisted of exercise by walking in the mall once a week for 30 minutes. She was exuberant as she shared her progress with the group. She and her sisters had visited the mall and walked for 2 hours, without stopping. She was surprised when she was not short of breath nor had any pain
in her legs. Not only had she exceeded her exercise goals, she incorporated healthy eating into her action plan, lost 15 pounds in three weeks and also got a job. She admitted that when she first came to our class, she was without a job had no resources to sustain the
family. Her son had lost his job and she felt the world problems on her shoulders.

Now Maria is on a mission to inspire the young ladies she mentors and be a role model showing them what can be done when you have the tools needed and are empowered to change your life.