The mission of the West Virginia University Extension Service is to form learning partnerships with the people of West Virginia to enable them to improve their lives and communities. To these partnerships, the extension servince brings useful research- and experience-based knowledge that facilitates critical thinking and skills development.
West Virginia University Extension Service
Dining with Diabetes Program
Dining with Diabetes is a program that is offered statewide to individuals with diabetes and their family members. The programs purpose is to provide diabetes education to individuals in rural areas where access to formal diabetes education programs is limited or non-existent. This program is offered once a week for four weeks with a follow-up class three months following the first class. Dining with Diabetes is a team taught program utilizing both West Virginia University (WVU) Extension educators and community health care partners. Health care partners may be Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE’s), Registered Dietitians (RD’s), and Pharmacists, Nurses or other health educators with knowledge of diabetes care and management.
The partnership with the West Virginia Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (WV DPCP) is one of mutual sharing of resources, educational opportunities and program development. The expertise of health care partners is critical to the success of the program, yet these individuals are often challenging to recruit due to the rural nature of West Virginia coupled with the concentration of health care partners in more urban areas. The WV DPCP assists with identification of potential health care partners and maintenance of a current list of these partners to ensure that no Dining with Diabetes program is without this essential component.
Each fall a statewide training on Dining with Diabetes is offered to all extension educators and health care partners. This training covers the basics of the program for those who are new to the partnership, new and updated materials within the curriculum, and diabetes health related information specifically for health care partners. A key aspect of this training is the support from the WV DPCP. Both the program manager and the program coordinator have presented portions of the training sessions or assisted in the recruitment of appropriate speakers.
Dining with Diabetes also produces a monthly newsletter, the Diabetes Update, which is distributed to both Extension educators and health care partners. This newsletter includes a column covering diabetes and nutrition issues written by the WV DPCP coordinator who is a Registered Dietitian.
West Virginia University Extension Service sponsors an annual national conference, Bridging the Gap with Education: Diabetes Symposium and Workshop. Through the assistance of the WV DPCP conference registration is waived for the Dining with Diabetes health care partners, providing them with the latest information in diabetes care and management.