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JABA Partnership Brings Diabetes Workshops to Rural Virginia

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Nelson County, Virginia, Blue Ridge Medical Center (BRMC) is no stranger to the health challenges facing rural communities. From unemployment and poverty to higher rates of chronic disease, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) like BRMC face unique challenges as they help patients and families improve their health.

But a new partnership among BRMC, the Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS), the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) and Health Quality Innovators (HQI) is helping people with diabetes understand their condition and the steps they can take to improve their health. BRMC recently hosted its second Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) workshop, an evidence-based program developed by Stanford University.

According to Denise Tuso, RN, outreach nurse at BRMC, the DSMP workshops are helping patients take charge of their health and take active steps to avoid complications from diabetes. Although BRMC has offered educational programs in the past, the workshop’s focus on peer-to-peer learning and sharing strengthens its impact on participants.

“What stands out about the DSMP format is the collaboration that occurs among the class participants. By the third class, people are bonding and openly sharing their struggles as well as what is working for them,” Tuso said. Read More..

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