Nebraska National Diabetes Prevention Program Statewide Engagement

by Cheri Farris

The MPHTC field placement between myself and Brian Coyle, MPH will include the following activities:

  • Assist in the development of a multi-year plan to engage and train National DPP Lifestyle Coaches quarterly in a format that allows for sharing successes, discussing overcoming barriers, identification of resources needed, and providing a training opportunity to enhance Lifestyle Coach skills.
  • Assist in the facilitation and training on a minimum of one quarterly coach engagement meeting and document the outcomes.
  • Plan and facilitate a minimum of one new National DPP Lifestyle Coach training, targeting gap areas that help to reach priority populations.
  • Draft a statement of commitment for National DPP sites and for Lifestyle Coaches to provide guidance and ensure program fidelity.
  • Seek guidance and feedback from National DPP sites and Lifestyle Coaches to finalize the statement of commitment for National DPP Programming.

The first step with the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) Statewide Engagement project between myself, Cheri Farris, CHES, and my preceptor, Brian Coyle, MPH, National Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Department of Public Health (NE DHHS DPH) was to outline the scope of our project. We have collaborated to determine the timeline of the project, the project deliverables, and have tweaked the outline over time as the partnership evolves and additional factors are considered. We have also collaborated on developing the structure of the quarterly calls in order to create a space for the dialogue with lifestyle coaches to support their success in delivering the program. We have regular weekly calls and follow up calls when necessary for feedback on the products we are developing. There is a lot of communication that has to happen to move the work forward, as well as systems thinking, which exemplifies MPH Competency 22: Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.

Throughout the duration of the project, we have adapted as we have learned more about available resources, one another’s ideas, etc. This project has grown and become much more than it was initially, and that is a positive thing. We are doing the collaborative work to ensure sustainability and that we meet underserved populations. For instance, we have also discussed looking at how we are marketing the National DPP and how we might evolve the marketing piece to increase enrollment and are considering developing a referral systems guidance document. The call plan, calls, and other products require me to utilize MPH competencies such as MPHF 19: Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and oral presentation.

The first quarterly lifestyle coach call was scheduled for June 20th. This is an important opportunity for lifestyle coaches across Nebraska to share their feedback and input on the collaborative project. We are working hard to be thoughtful and mindful of considering how we want the lifestyle coaches to experience our quarterly calls. The first call will inform us of their perspectives from the various organizations in which they deliver the National DPP as well as their target population and program reach. Additionally, we want to learn from them what the state could offer as value-add for their efforts.

In my experience thus far, I find that public health practice requires flexibility and openness to growth. This project has expanded that view, and that is a great thing. Performing on inter-professional teams is an important MPH competency, and one that is important to me as a lifelong learner. I am looking forward to the next few weeks when we are able to bring in more of the perspective of others doing the work in their organizations both on the upcoming conference call and at the lifestyle coach training.

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