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Annual DiabetesMine™ Design Challenge

DiabetesTogetherTM

Diabete sToge ther TM
Coaching, learning, and support for success in daily living for People With Diabetes

The Problem: People with Diabetes (PWD) are challenged to follow prescribed medical care and live well every day of every year, for a lifetime (and long ones we hope). Services provided by doctors and CDE’s attend to the medical aspects of diabetes, which is fundamental, yet the rubber hits the road when we are required to stay motivated, reduce stress, eat well, exercise, and engage in healthful living. The shortage of Diabetes Educators, and hospital and health system diabetes services which are limited to those with access and are mostly place-based, do not and cannot fulfill all our needs. Research has continually shown that structured support from others (peer coaching, group classes, individual coaching, etc) really works to improve health and happiness of PWD, but experiments have been on small scale and limited time basis, or focused on specialized populations. The internet and online communities for PWD have been tremendous for sharing information and empowering patients. However, Web 2.0 is a public forum, and not all PWD’s want to go “public” with personal and private health needs and concerns. The BOTTOM LINE: PWD need a private, scalable technology solution to provide coaching and support for successful daily living with Diabetes. The Solution: The solution to the problem is to provide coaching and peer support in a private web-based setting using e-leaning and e-coaching technology. DiabetesTogetherTM will provide PWD’s with services that support healthful daily living and are shown to be effective for supporting the behavior changes required for success. DiabetesTogetherTM will: 1. Provide private and individual motivational coaching via web and phone 2. Build services based on philosophies of Positive Psychology (Seligman, 2002), Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (Prochaska, DiClemente,& Norcross (1992), and Strengths-based coaching, Self-efficacy and advocacy, that really work 3. Enable facilitated eLearning and discussion to motivate PWD’s for success in daily living 4. Provide education and training to enable PWD’s to become group leaders and peer coaches 5. Provide the technology and support for PWD’s to build sustainable DiabetesSuccess™ support groups. DiabetesTogetherTM helps PWD’s find options for daily living and answers to questions such as: • What do other people in my situation do? • What are solutions that work? • What type of diet and healthy eating do others follow that have been successful? • How do I rearrange my life to develop the exercise program I need? • How do I keep going at this for the rest of my life? • What help do I need when I can’t do it alone? • How can I motivate myself to do this on an ongoing basis, for life? • How can I set achievable goals to change behaviors and create action plans to achieve those goals? • What do I need to do personally to motivate myself to change what I’m doing now?

© 2008 Shelley R. Robbins, PhD

June 2008

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Annual DiabetesMine™ Design Challenge Entry

DiabetesTogetherTM

The mission of DiabetesTogetherTM is 1) To use technology in a new way that enables and supports a healthy and successful life for diabetics by making diabetes PERSONAL. By combining synchronous and asynchronous e-learning technologies, DT enables advanced e-learning, individual and group coaching, peer coaching, peer-led success groups, and facilitator/coach training. 2) To provide coaching and other services which are based on theories of Positive Psychology (Seligman, 2002), and Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (Prochaska, DiClemente,& Norcross (1992), Self-efficacy and advocacy, which can lead to the behavior changes we want and build resilience and strength. 3) To make services available anytime/anywhere to help us through whatever situations life throws at us, and to give us the skills to embrace diabetes using our strengths and developing resilience. 4) Think WeightWatchers® and PeerTrainer and Meetup.com for the diabetes community. PWD’s can attend groups in their communities that are led by trained facilitators. They learn skills to help them live successfully with diabetes in a supportive setting. Meetings include the most up to date science-based information, nutrition, exercise, goal-setting, motivation tips, and other success-strategies. In between meetings, members can sign up to work individually with coaches, or can link with peers to provide continued support through social networks. DiabetesTogetherTM provides what the health system can’t do-- focus on a support-based, wellness model that supports PWD to achieve a healthy and happy life. NOTE: This program is not a substitute for medical care or basic diabetes education provided by health care systems and Certified Diabetes Educators. It is intended to enhance and support the success of diabetics in daily life. It is a community-based model (real time and e-community) that is not affiliated with a single health care system, and intended to support diabetics as an adjunct to the care of medical professionals.

How Diab ete sT ogeth er TM solves everyday problems and improves life for PWD’s
Susan, an adult T2, has been to diabetes educators and nutritionists. She visits her Dr. regularly and her A1c has been going up. She knows just what she is supposed to do, what she should eat, that she should test regularly, but she just doesn’t. She knows it time to do something, but where to start? She logs on to DiabetesTogetherTM and decides to sign up and register online for individual coaching. Prior to her session, she reviews the material in the resource center, takes some surveys to help her determine what her strengths are, and considers what goals she wants to set with her coach. At the prearranged time, she and her coach talk on the phone, work together to set goals for healthy behaviors, and look at what’s getting in the way. She uses her strengths to help her be successful at daily living, gains more understanding of what trips her up, and feels confident she can do what she needs to. At subsequent sessions, Susan modifies her goals as she makes progress on existing ones. The coach is there to be her cheerleader and thinking partner. Mike, a teen T1, has just gotten a pump. His Dr. and CDE think he might want to connect with other teens with pumps. He logs in and signs up for a peer coach, who has received training in coaching via an online and telephone-based class. His peer-coach, Tony, is also a teen T1 pumper, and he and Mike meet together in a private chat room, both real time and asynchronously. While Mike got the technical information on his pump from his CDE, Tony helps Mike learn what it’s really like to be pumping, and encourages Mike to ask lots of questions, and directs him to some good online resources. Being part of the peer coaching process gives Mike the confidence he needs, and he decides he wants to take part in peer coach training next year. Debbie knows how to use email and surf the net, and has tried some online forums, but when it comes to helping her manage her challenges in daily living, she likes the support of meeting with
© 2008 Shelley R. Robbins, PhD June 2008 2

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DiabetesTogetherTM

friends over a cup of coffee. Debbie is a working mom and knows there are others at her church and in her community with diabetes. She’s searched in her community and can only find one support group at the local hospital that meets when she’s at work. She’d like to start a group that meets at the church for other working PWD’s but doesn’t have the confidence to do so. She logs TM in and downloads a packet to help her start her DiabetesSuccess group—it includes welcome letters, meeting agendas, handouts, and all that she needs to get started. She signs up for a teleclass next month that will start the process to train her to be a facilitator. Debbie is excited to get her group going, and DiabetesTogetherTM has an automated function to help her sign up group members. While the group meets at her church, they also have a private online space where they can encourage each other in between meetings. Stu, a techie baby boomer has attended classes and consulted with CDE’s, but they weren’t at the level of learning that he wants. He reads journal articles and continually surfs the web for state of the art health information. Stu logs in to DiabetesTogetherTM and starts and leads an ongoing success group. DT matches him with similar-minded PWD’s who share his interests. Take a tour of Diabet esTo gether TM Log on to the website (not currently operational, but stay tuned). Here are some of the things you’ll find. Stop by the Learning Center Sign up for a facilitated class on a variety of motivational topics Suggest topics for new classes Next, visit the Coaching Center Request an individualized session with a certified Health Coach Go through the Peer Coach training session Get matched with a Peer-Coach with similar characteristics Sign up for a Coaching Group that meets weekly Take a tour of the private coaching and chat rooms Take online surveys to assess your strengths Visit the SuccessGroup™ Center Check out the wide variety of materials to Print Review and download sample meeting agendas and curriculum Sign up for E-community support for community-based success groups Finally, visit the Training Center Learn to be a peer-coach Learn to be a SuccessGroup™ facilitator Learn to facilitate online classes The Innovator: Dr. Shelley Robbins --- shelleyrobbins@comcast.net I’m building a solution with personalized services that I dream of to support my own care, as well as to support the needs of other PWD’s I’ve met since being diagnosed with T2 diabetes in 2000. I’ve held senior leadership positions in e-learning, virtual education, and consulting, and have been teaching, coaching, learning, and leading virtually with technology since 1998. I’ve built online curricula and trained online instructors, and have trained as a coach. I now think it’s time to put my expertise to use to fill a much needed gap in technology-enabled service delivery to PWDs. The ultimate success with Diabetes is what we do in daily living. We need good medical care, but we also need to be motivated, have access to good information, social support, motivational support, education, and ideas that work.. The challenge we face is how to make healthy choices, learn, solve problems, and sustain this over time. That’s why I invented DiabetesTogether™.

© 2008 Shelley R. Robbins, PhD

June 2008

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