WSSU project conducting free diabetes training at churches

WSSU project conducting free diabetes training at churches
March 24
00:00 2016
Union Bethel, Pastor Konnie Robinson


Diabetes is a serious health problem that the African-American community faces today. To raise awareness and education, Winston-Salem State University researchers implemented an initiative designed for African–Americans age 18 and older, with or without pre-diabetes, to help reduce their risk of Type-2 diabetes (adult onset). “The HOSEA Project: Training , Equipping and Empowering Churches to Prevent Diabetes,” a faith-based and culturally tailored initiative, funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began year one project implementation in November 2015.

The HOSEA Project is partnering with over 14 African-American churches in the Winston-Salem vicinity. Year two project implementation will begin in November 2016. Recognizing that a majority of African-American congregations include a large percentage of diabetics, WSSU researchers were strategic in incorporating diabetes education (HOSEA Phase II) into the initiative to provide support to those members diagnosed with diabetes by affording them free trainings inclusive of valuable information to help them maintain adequate diabetes management. Trainings will be open to family members and caregivers.

This program strategy will provide the churches with increased awareness and knowledge about pre-diabetes and the impact of diabetes equipping and empowering them to reduce the risks of this major health disparity that plagues so many communities.

African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities have a higher prevalence of diabetes and also have higher rates of complications. Diabetes is considered a health threat affecting nearly 26 million Americans. The disease is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, costing an estimated $245 billion per year.

The free diabetes trainings will not only be offered to HOSEA partner churches, but to all Winston-Salem and surrounding area churches.

Free trainings

Trainings will be conducted on the campus of the individual churches and scheduled based on church preference dates and times. Information sessions regarding the registration process will be conducted at Rupert Bell Recreation Center 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 26, May 24, June 28, July 26, August 23, and Sept. 27. All information sessions will begin promptly at 6 p.m.

The free diabetes trainings will be facilitated by HOSEA Project Partner Alliant Quality. Alliant Quality, contracted by CMS, is the Quality Innovation Network Quality Improvement Organization for Georgia and North Carolina. A healthcare consulting organization, Alliant Quality is dedicated to improving the quality, safety and integrity of healthcare. A key component of their identity involves forming professional partnerships to extend outreach, effectiveness, increase value and accessibility of healthcare. Trainings will be available through 2019. As a compliment to its pre-diabetes education, HOSEA Partner Church Union Chapel Baptist Church began its diabetes management trainings March 17. Deltra Bonner, one of two Union Chapel liaisons, has been instrumental in their project implementation.

“Having successfully participated in other carefully selected studies, our retention rate in the HOSEA Project has been high because our members feel their participation is in their best interest. Additionally, Pastor [Konnie G.] Robinson played an integral role in recruiting members and is actually participating in the study.”

The overarching impact of both pre-diabetes education and diabetes management training provides HOSEA an opportunity to increase health education and the importance of making lifestyle changes to combat diabetes and other health-related issues. “When we know better we can do better is a philosophy shared among many members participating in the study. The HOSEA project provides us with an opportunity for great fellowship, great fun and a great learning experience,” said Bonner.

The HOSEA Project is guided by the Division of Nursing and the Department of Health, Physical Education and Sport Studies. Purposely named “The HOSEA Project” based on the scripture Hosea 4:6: “My people perish for a lack of knowledge” has a goal to utilize the African-American church to address diabetes prevention in the African-American communities by training pastors and congregations to educate and empower others.

For further information contact the HOSEA Project Coordinator at 336-750-8915. 

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