For people living with diabetes, managing their condition can feel like a daunting task. It requires making various lifestyle changes, paying close attention to diet and exercise, and always monitoring blood sugar levels.
In southwest Louisiana, where diabetes is prevalent, residents have a vital support system to manage their diabetes thanks to the Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) Center for Health Services’s Live in Control Program.
As part of Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support System services, the Live in Control program gives patients a support-group-style series of sessions that covers a variety of diabetes management topics. The program hosts five weekly in-person group sessions that offer help with lowering A1C, monitoring blood sugar, losing weight and eating healthy.
When a patient enters the program, a nurse performs tests and collects vitals to establish a baseline and measure progress. Then, during the weekly sessions, the patient is supported by nutritionists, dieticians, personal trainers and other health professionals who offer hands-on support, resources and advice. Perhaps most importantly, patients benefit from the fellowship and encouragement they get from other program participants.
“We have experienced tremendous success with this program,” said Nasheika Malbreaux, Grants and Programs Coordinator at SWLA Center for Health Services. “Our patients who have been involved in this program have genuinely enjoyed this experience. No one wants to be lectured to or feel as though they are being judged. So, here at SWLA Center for Health Services, we’ve designed our program to be an engaging and fun experience. Not only are our patients learning effective ways to manage their diabetes, they are also strengthening their mental and social well-being.”
Developed by Dr. Ninfa Peña-Purcell, a research scientist at the Texas A&M Health Center for Population Health and Aging, Live in Control was carefully crafted to be culturally-relevant to rural Black communities – making the program a perfect fit for SWLA Center for Health Services.
Supporting the community through innovative programming has been a staple for the over 45-year-old SWLA Center for Health Services. Headquartered in Lake Charles and with seven service-delivery sites across southwest Louisiana, the health center provides access to primary care, dental and behavioral health services for the area’s vulnerable and most underserved populations. As one of the state’s longest-serving Federally Qualified Health Centers, it has led a variety of innovative services and programs in its history. Perhaps none are more life-changing than their Live in Control program.
After the five-session program, participants return three months later to review their progress and celebrate their graduation. They receive a gift, a certificate of completion and access to the health center’s services to continue their diabetes management and healthy new lifestyles.
“It feels great to see our patients thrive and grow in confidence when it comes to managing their diabetes,” Nasheika said. “We’ve had patients of all age ranges take part in this program, and we are now able to include in-home support caregivers so that they can also learn some of these techniques.
“All of us here at SWLA Center for Health Services are grateful to our grant providers and to our partners at Well-Ahead Louisiana for allowing us the flexibility to administer this program in our community. Best of all, we know this is just the beginning. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for our community—we know that, through our Live in Control program, we’re moving the needle here in southwest Louisiana.”
Get Started with Live in Control at Your Facility
Are you interested in implementing the Live in Control program in your clinic and improving the health of your community? Well-Ahead Louisiana has the support and resources you need. See how our Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support services can help patients better manage their diabetes and improve their health behaviors.