The Penn State Dining with Diabetes Program is a research-based diabetes management program designed to help participants better understand Type 2 diabetes and its possible health related problems. This community-based education program is offered in 46 Pennsylvania counties and reaches residents, including those who are low-income and undeserved, in these 95, 97, and 98 counties. The program focuses on the following subject areas: understanding important bio-marker numbers and information to improve self-management, healthy food preparation and menu planning, benefits of physical activity including ideas for increasing the frequency and level of activity. The Dining with Diabetes program consists of an orientation session, four weekly classes, lasting approximately two hours each, and a follow-up class held three months from the orientation. Participants with diabetes will have an opportunity to have their HbA1C and blood pressure measured. These tests provide teachable moments for participants to see first-hand how their numbers compare to the current medical standards and to understand what steps can be taken to maintain or improve their scores. Program participants are empowered to learn the skills needed to achieve good control of three important diabetes health outcome indicators, HbA1C, blood pressure and cholesterol. The Penn State Extension Dining with Diabetes program will contribute to the goals of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in a variety of ways. Our program will include directions throughout the series of classes to connect participants to direct access of biomedical information specific to their health concerns. In addition, Extension has a strong history of partnering with a wide-range of organizations throughout the community to educate and empower individuals and therefore enhance public health. When offering this program in libraries, we will include a library representative to provide information about their local services.
Penn State Extension, Montgomery County