NJHA’s Health Research and Educational Trust implemented a diabetes management project to address the challenges to diabetes care in minority communities.
Dulce New Jersey: Diabetes Disease Management Program is a community-based education and compliance program modeled after the orignal Project Dulce Program in California. This program incorporates nurse-managed care and community health education/promotion strategies to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate tools to patients needing assistance in managing and monitoring their diabetes.
The project model provides:
- Nurse-managed clinical care, adhering to AACE/ADA standards, with a complete initial assessment and quarterly follow-up visits
- Additional routine screening and services by a physician, dietitian, bilingual/bicultural medical assistants and specialists
- Eight-week education courses, using a curriculum promoting healthy lifestyles and addressing cultural beliefs in ineffective remedies, led by trained peer educators from the same communities and cultural/ethnic groups who also learned to effectively manage their own diabetes
- Patient education and outreach materials in the common language of target communities (English and Spanish)
- Case management by peer educators to help patients address barriers to project participation and diabetes self-management goals.
Dulce New Jersey was piloted over a two-year period in three New Jersey sites – Saint Michael’s Medical Center and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Essex County and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Passaic County – targeting Hispanic and African American communities with diabetes. The Cooper University Hospital later joined the Dulce New Jersey team as a fourth site to effectively address the rise of diabetes mismanagement in their highly populated Latino communities.
The project evaluated patient outcomes resulting from both clinical and educational interventions and found that the program improved the health outcomes of the participants and empowered them to self-manage their condition. With proper disease management, healthcare expenditures for diabetes and related complications were also reduced.
This project was funded by grants from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey and Novartis Pharmaceuticals with additional support from Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and Novo Nordisk.