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Medicare Every Diabetic Counts Project Gears Up for Kick-Off

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- FMQAI, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Florida, is partnering with Gateway Community Health Center, Inc. of Laredo, Texas to provide free Diabetes Empowerment Education Program training (DEEP) to community volunteers in 33 Florida counties. According to Kathleen Lightbourne, Project Manager of the FMQAI Every Diabetic Counts Project, "The Program is designed to help people with diabetes improve diabetic outcomes and to address disparities in diabetes through a community based, culturally appropriate diabetes self-management program." Hoping to draw grassroots support for the launch of the project's empowerment program, FMQAI has invited health educators, community health workers, community leaders, parish nurses, peer educators and volunteers from faith and community based organizations to participate in this groundbreaking Medicare special project.

Following a two-and-a-half-day diabetes educational training program to become Community Health Workers, volunteers will then offer five weeks of Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) to pre-qualified diabetic patients in their communities. DEEP training will be provided free of charge by the Every Diabetic Counts Project team and staff from Gateway Community Health Center, Inc. in a variety of sites throughout the state.

DEEP, developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center, builds upon national medical and diabetes self-care guidelines with an educational, empowerment approach. Goals include improving and maintaining the quality of life of persons with diabetes, preventing complications and incapacities, improving eating and maintaining adequate nutrition, increasing physical activity, developing self- care skills, improving the relationship between patients and health care providers and utilizing available resources. For more information on becoming a Diabetes Community Health Worker or to host a program in your community, call 1-800-564-7490, extension 3510.

This material was prepared by FMQAI, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Florida, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. FL200709EDCTK32610465

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