Managing Diabetes, Transforming Health

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When John*, a Medicare beneficiary from West Virginia, enrolled in diabetes self-management education (DSME) classes through the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program, he had no idea they would end up saving his life.

The EDC program is administered by Quality Insights – the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for West Virginia, Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The free classes help participants understand diabetes risk factors, giving them the tools and resources needed to modify their behavior and manage their disease. In addition to risk factors, participants learn about nutrition, weight management, medication management and much more.

During one of John’s class sessions, the instructor noticed that he did not seem well. John assured his instructor that he was fine but continued to feel ill throughout the day. Later, John remembered from a previous class that heart attacks are a risk factor for people with diabetes. The instructor had explained that sharp chest pains are not always present during heart attacks and that there are other signs like chest pressure, similar to indigestion.

John quickly realized that this was what he was feeling. He took an aspirin and asked his wife to drive him to the hospital where doctors discovered that the coronary arteries in his heart were 100 percent blocked. Two stents were placed in his heart to clear the blockage.

After he recovered, John returned to class to share with his DSME instructor and classmates that the information he learned in class had saved his life. To learn more about Quality Insights and the EDC program, visit www.qualityinsights-qin.org.

*Name has been changed