FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Washington, D.C. (October 22, 2014) – Washington, D.C. residents with Medicare are eligible to receive free diabetes education classes under a new project led by the Delmarva Foundation.

The classes, part of a five-year program called Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC), will be offered at various locations throughout the District of Columbia. The free classes are open to all Medicare beneficiaries who have diabetes or pre-diabetes, their families and caregivers. Educators trained by Delmarva will cover topics about managing every aspect of diabetes. This includes everything from nutrition to exercise, important tests, and teaming with a health care provider to manage the disease.

The EDC program, funded by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), seeks to educate Medicare beneficiaries who have diabetes across the United States, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, over the next five years. Interventions such as diabetes education classes are critical to helping residents to prevent or control diabetes.

Delmarva Foundation is currently looking for D.C. and community partners willing to join the EDC program to promote courses, offer additional locations for classes, teach classes, and help find ways to make the project sustainable. It is estimated that approximately 61,000 D.C. residents have diabetes and approximately 35,000 may have pre-diabetes.

“Our hope is that these offerings will become a part of the D.C. community fabric and continue beyond completion of the project,” states Janet Robinson, Vice President, Quality Improvement Programs at Delmarva Foundation. “The need for diabetes education becomes even more critical as those diagnosed with the disease continues to grow.”

In addition to providing diabetes education and training, Delmarva is also offering resources and assistance to health care providers seeking to become Diabetes Centers within their communities. By working in both the community setting and through health care providers, Delmarva hopes to maximize project impact. At the end of the program, Delmarva aims to have 50 trained community health workers who will add to the overall network of resources for diabetes education.

Classes are scheduled to begin in November. Contact Laura Benzel, Project Manager at Delmarva Foundation, for registration or more information at 800-937-3362.

About Delmarva Foundation
Delmarva Foundation, a member of the Atlantic Quality Improvement Network (AQIN), is the Quality Improvement Organization for the District of Columbia. AQIN is under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to improve the quality of health care for the District of Columbia’s Medicare beneficiaries. Delmarva provides a range of services, including the development of interventional processes, convening healthcare organizations and stakeholders, fostering the spread of clinical or community practices that improve patient safety and healthcare delivery, and lessening the healthcare disparities that exist in our healthcare system. For more information, visit www.atlanticquality.org.