How a Diabetes Workshop Changed a Life

Loretta_1_LR

Simply put – it works.

That’s what Loretta Fleming says about a workshop for people with Type 2 Diabetes that has changed her life.

Five years ago, Loretta, who has Type 2 Diabetes, weighed 378 pounds and had an A1C level of 12.4% (the normal level is 5.7% or below).

She learned about a free program offered by Health People, located in the south Bronx, that helps community members learn more about their Diabetes and manage the physical and psychological effects of the disease.

The program is called the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), a curriculum developed by the Stanford Patient Education Research Center. Loretta enrolled in the seven-week course that was led by two “Peer Leaders,” local residents who also live with Type 2 Diabetes and have been trained and certified to be instructors for the DSMP.

“The Diabetes mortality rate in the Bronx is 50% higher than the state’s rate,” said Chris Norwood, Executive Director, Health People. “Community-based programs like this help people stay healthy and prevent the need for hospital care.”

Once a week, Loretta and about a dozen other people met to learn, share experiences and make weekly action plans such as eating better, measuring their glucose levels, staying active, advocating for themselves and handling the emotions that might drive bad health choices.

Four months after starting the program, Loretta lost 28 pounds and her A1C level went down to 7.8%. She was so excited with her progress that she enrolled her mother who participated in the workshop and lost 42 pounds. “

“Think about it – your doctor can’t spend two-and-a-half hours every week talking to you about your lifestyle, your feelings, whether you read labels on food,” says Loretta. “The program supplies manuals that we read together, nutritious snacks and an atmosphere to learn, really talk and share what’s going on in your life. The group experience makes a big difference.”

Today, Loretta has lost over 130 pounds and has become a certified as a DSMP Peer Leader. She’s led five DSMP workshops and has personally recruited more than 60 people to take the course.

“Many people have come back and told me the program has changed their lives,” she says. “They are surprised, but I’m not because it changed mine. I told them when they walked in the door – the program works.”

To learn more about DSMP workshops, contact Chris Norwood at ChrisNorwood@healthpeople.org.    

 

Published April 12, 2017

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Disaster Relief_istock_resized

New York City government and local Bronx organizations have mobilized to provide disaster relief to Puerto Rico. Here are local more


Cassidy and Pharmacy Panel_LowRes_crop

Community pharmacists are on the front lines of patient care and play a key role in helping people who more


20170421_092828

Thirteen leading agencies joined with BPHC to launch our Community Behavioral Health Collaborative (CBHC) focused on improving the screening more


Loretta_1_LR

A Diabetes workshop transformed Loretta Fleming’s life and inspired her to help others live better with the disease. Her more


Resource Directory_Front Screen_Cropped



Doctor and Patient

Before launching DSRIP in 2015, BPHC conducted an intensive analysis of the health care challenges facing Bronx residents with more


Connecting People

  Heidi Hynes, Executive Director of the Mary Mitchell Family & Youth Center (MMFYC) which serves families in the more


Members of the Health Education Literacy Team from ArchChare, a BPHC member organization, participate in Cultural Competency Training.

Members of the Health Education Literacy Team from ArchCare, a BPHC member organization, participate in Cultural Competency Training.   more


Ann Sullivan, MD, Commissioner of the NYS Office of Mental Health (left), and State Senator Gustavo Rivera (right) joined Irene Kaufmann, BPHC Executive Director (center), at the launch of BPHC's Behavioral Health DSRIP project.

Ann Sullivan, MD, Commissioner of the NYS Office of Mental Health (left), and State Senator Gustavo Rivera (right) joined more


Empowering People_Celebration_Group

NYC Council Member Ritchie Torres (15th-NY) (far right) joined BPHC in thanking Peer Leaders and Community Health Workers for more