Summing Up the Nebraska Diabetes Prevention Program Project

by Cheri Farris

The first quarterly statewide lifestyle coach call occurred June 20th. We had a great turnout with 22 lifestyle coaches and/or coordinators on the call. We used Go to Meeting with a share screen for the call. So far, we have received feedback from 10 of them via online survey evaluation. Overall, the feedback has been positive and very helpful for planning future calls.

Mr. Coyle and I have continued to tweak our plans and project products as new information has become available. The final project products have been delivered to Mr. Coyle at DHHS along with the final budget and quarterly report.

Another important leadership skill I was able to witness is when to “call it.” We had the lifestyle coach training scheduled for June 25-26, but in the end, it was postponed due to low registration numbers. It took real leadership skills to be able to make that call, and undoubtedly the September training will be more convenient for more people. I did want the training to happen at first, but it has turned out to be a positive because it freed up some time that I would have been traveling to complete final edits to the products for the project. I am facilitating a lifestyle coach training in the Panhandle at the end of July that a future lifestyle coach who had been registered for the June training in Lincoln is planning to attend in order to meet her organization’s need in implementing the program. I have learned to be flexible and go with the flow in public health practice, and when plans change in the future, I will roll with it.

I am passionate about chronic disease control and prevention in an era when the vast majority of healthcare resources are spent on chronic preventable conditions. Projects like these are important no matter where funding is focused at the moment, and we as public health professionals strive to braid funding sources to implement systems that will more effectively address chronic disease prevention and management. I am able to build relational partnerships that serve to further this work, and this experience has been instrumental in strengthening those skills and my confidence in my abilities. It has been rewarding to intentionally apply the MPH competencies to my work in this way. And I am so grateful for that.

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