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Creative Community Strategies for Diabetes Care

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Publication Date: June 2008

Publisher(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services for the chronically ill)


The Richland County Community Diabetes Project (RCCDP), a Building Community Supports for Diabetes Care project, was developed by the Richland Health Network. The network, a unique partnership between the Richland County Health Department, the Sidney Health Center and the Richland County Commission on Aging, provides a variety of health services to agricultural communities in eastern Montana.

Focus groups conducted during the project's planning phase revealed that, although health care providers were reported as the most important source of information for managing diabetes care, participants wanted practical, understandable information that they could apply in their daily lives.

RCCDP is committed to strengthening the area's health system by linking clinical and community arenas to foster an environment that supports diabetes self-management.

RCCDP created the Diabetes Education and Support Group, where participants learn and talk about topics related to diabetes. The project also developed an ADA-recognized Diabetes Education Center that helps strengthen the partnership between the clinics and the community.

Other interventions that have been implemented include chronic disease self-management classes, a walking club, a weight-loss program and worksite wellness activities. In an effort to increase awareness of proper nutrition and promote healthy eating, the Tasty Fork contest encourages area restaurants to introduce healthy, low-fat options on their menus. Participating restaurants receive free publicity and compete for the best-tasting healthy menu item.

Key Lessons:

* An ecological approach provides a comprehensive model to initiate and sustain diabetes self-management.
* The unique partnership between the hospital and the health department promotes synergy through sharing and streamlining of key diabetes services.


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