Smiley face

A Year in Review – Diabetes Education

Smiley face

Anyone who has followed my newspaper columns and program announcements knows that I have a passion for diabetes education.  Having a son with Type 1 diabetes has taught me so much about the disease, and I am happy to share Extension’s “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” series each year.  2015 will bring some updated information to the series, and I look forward to providing the series!  Below is a brief synopsis of diabetes education efforts in 2014.


The annual cost of diabetes in Texas is estimated at $18.5 billion. An estimated 1.8 million, or 9.7%, of Texans 18 years old or older are diagnosed with diabetes; another 425,000 have diabetes but do not know it. Almost one in four adult Texans aged 65 and older have been diagnosed with diabetes. Texas is projected to have a greater incidence rate and increased costs in the future due to the growing population of people over 65 years of age and Hispanics/ Latinos, who are at a greater risk for the disease.

Almost $1 of every $5 spent on health care is for people with diabetes. Poor diabetes management leads to increased health-care costs. People with diabetes who maintain their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers within recommended ranges can keep their costs, health risks, quality of life, and productivity very close to those without the disease. Currently, however, only 7% of people with diabetes are at the recommended levels.


Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes and Cooking Well with Diabetes, low-cost class series covering self-care and nutrition topics were delivered in five sessions and four sessions, respectively. Class materials include a curriculum consistent with the American Diabetes Association Standards of Care along with PowerPoint presentations, videos, marketing materials, cooking demonstrations, and a pre-post evaluation program. Additionally, diabetes exhibits (Sulphur Springs Middle School, Senior Expo, Fall Festival, Ocean Spray Employee Health Fair, 55+ Health Fair), special newspaper features, National Diabetes Awareness Month promotion, and numerous one-on-one consultations added to diabetes awareness/management. The program’s primary goal is to improve blood glucose management.


Five coalition members supported implementation of Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes. Coalition members taught classes and assisted the Extension agent with marketing, registration, data collection, food preparation demonstrations, procurement of medical supplies such as glucometers for participants, and follow-up to determine effectiveness of the program.

• 20 people with diabetes participated in the class series in 2014.

•The average age of participants with diabetes was 69.

• 20 (100%) participants rated their feeling able to control their diabetes as excellent to good, reflecting an increase from 8 (40%) to 20 (100%).

• 12 (60%) participants reported having no previous diabetes classes, indicating a critical need for diabetes education.

• Participants reported their blood glucose before meals was 138 mg/dL at the beginning of classes, decreasing to 108 mg/dL at 5 weeks.

• Participants reported their blood glucose 2 hours after meals was 186 mg/dL at the beginning of classes, decreasing to 161mg/dL at 5 weeks.

•An important quality indicator being used by national accrediting agencies, such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH), is whether participants report having an annual dilated eye exam. At the beginning of Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes, 50% of participants reported having had a dilated exam during the previous 12 months; 20 reported they would have this exam because of these classes; this increased to 100%.

• 20 (100%) rated classes as excellent or very good.

Success Stories:

• “I CAN eat carbs – just watch amount of carbs in each food. I also learned how important serving size is.”

• “Paying attention to labels is important. Now I know what to watch for.”

• “I have tried some of the recipes provided with the handouts and have changed my grocery shopping.”

• “There are so many things I learned. I would definitely come to another class!”

Economic Impact to Hopkins County:

The potential lifetime health-care cost savings for their remaining years of life, resulting from improved management of diabetes by these participants, is an estimated to be $401,400.

Future Implications:

The “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” series will again be offered in Hopkins County in 2015.  Partnerships are being established with the Hopkins County Memorial Hospital for a possible grant to identify, intervene, and improve lives of individuals with diabetes, particularly school students.

Closing Thought

Wishing each of you a blessed New Year!  Let him who would enjoy a good future waste not of his present – Roger Babson


Johanna Hicks
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Family & Consumer Sciences
1200-B W. Houston
P.O.Box 518
Sulphur springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 – phone
903-439-4909 – Fax
[email protected]

Smiley face

Author: KSST Webmaster

Share This Post On