The main focus for the LDA continues to be a grassroots community based approach to preventive diabetes education and self-management.
Our classes consist of 1 ½ hour classes once a week for 10 weeks and are taught by a combination of primarily Certified Diabetes Educators, Nutritionists/Dieticians, Promatora community health educators, and guest educators such as trusted local Podiatrists who specialize in preventive wound care and amputation prevention such as Dr. Halperin and partners at New Hope Podiatry/East L.A. Wound Care Center.
We also partner with pharmacies and pharmacists that provide free glucometers to all our participants as well as general medication education including orals and insulin.
In October 2009, LDA representatives Director Yolie Acosta and Board Co-Chair Brenda Vázquez completed Master Training on community diabetes prevention and self-management education in Boston, MA using the Stanford University model; a paradigm curriculum currently being launched nationally. The LDA has the distinct honor in being among the very first in the entire nation to be instructed in this model curriculum.
The LDA is a small organization, but very ambitious and strives for nothing less of excellence. We work hard and have a sense of urgency because we understand that the need is great and resources are few; so we must use all available resources to our fullest advantage and be efficient in our approaches.
The LDA also provides supportive services/case management for participants who have multiple barriers to the health and life struggles. These services consist of linking our participants with local resources from governmental, non-profit, or free/low cost for profit company programs and services such as food banks, free/low cost community clinics, health insurance, medications, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence referrals, tattoo removal, education, immigration assistance, etc.
The LDA will begin much needed peer-to-peer support group counseling at our Montebello office in the spring of 2010. We also provide outreach to various communities at our annual health fair as well as some fairs we are invited to.
In 2009 the LDA was instrumental in helping to establish a much needed senior center in the Cypress Park area of northeast Los Angeles. We also helped to establish weekly workshops from other community based organizations and government resources such as Medi-Cal/Medicare education and advocacy programs, senior law, heart and stroke education and awareness, blind/low vision education, Alzheimer’s information, and other educational workshops.
OUR CORE PROGRAMS:
ALL Latino Diabetes Programs are completely FREE and open to anyone of any ethnicity. The frequency and locations of our programs are entirely dependent on our current budget capabilities and at times dependent on areas directed by our funders.
Diabetes Prevention Program: “Lucha” Fight Against Diabetes Prevention Program
This is an 8-week program open to anyone over 16 years of age, whether they are diabetic or not. Participants are required to pre-register and to commit to attending all classes for the duration of the program. Walk-ins are also welcome but are also expected to commit for the entire program.
Our Lucha program is taught primarily by bilingual Certified Diabetes Educators and Nutritionists (or Registered Dieticians) who teach in a culturally relevant and sensitive format in a professional but informal manner. Interaction with all participants is highly encouraged and classes are taught in a fun “edutainment” style. Other bilingual guest educators include podiatrists, cardiologists, nephrologists, ophthalmologists, registered nurses, and other competent healthcare professionals.
All participants are given a diabetes knowledge test at the beginning and at the end of the session to track their progress in understanding the principles of diabetes prevention. Participants are also weighed and given BMI (Body Mass Index) baseline measurements at the beginning and end of the program to track their progress in reducing their weight or glucose levels. At the beginning of the program, participants are urged to see their doctor or are given a referral to a low-cost medical clinic for healthcare if they are uninsured for additional tracking of their progress and for additional screenings including A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol. All participants are given a “goodie bag” with diabetes and health resource literature and cookbooks.
Our Lucha for Kids Chilldhood program is geared towards parents and children at reducing childhood obesity in elementary, middle schools, and community centers. Adult heads of households, specifically matriarch / caregiver mothers and fathers with their children are taught the basics of diabetes, myths about the disease, and ways to avoid it early in life; as well as healthy cooking recipes and how to snack healthy and make exercise fun!
Type 2 diabetes is growing at a much higher rate than Type 1 diabetes, due to childhood obesity caused by sedentary lifestyle in children playing more video games and watching TV, rather than playing outdoor sports and activities, and a lack of nutritious home cooked food.
Our Healthy Cooking (Sabor y Sazón) and exercise (Mi Vida Yoga) classes are taught within the course period.
DIABETES CONTROL AND SELF-MANAGEMENT:
Stanford University Diabetes Self-Management Program
This program is for diabetics only or their family or caregivers and follows the “Lucha” program after its conclusion. This program is limited to 10 to 15 participants and is much more intimate and one-on-one with a SDSMP master trainer which stresses practical everyday ways to cope with diabetes, compliance with diet, exercise, and medications, reduce diabetes complications, and ultimately reduce or eliminate your medications if possible. The program in 6 weeks in duration and is done in Spanish and / or English.
Diabetes Peer Support Group
Our support groups meet on a monthly basis at our Montebello headquarters. There are two separate groups; one for diabetics and one for family and / or caregivers. The groups are “peer driven”; meaning the group itself controls and directs the topics of discussion, but with the aid of a facilitator. The 2 groups are also divided into separate English and Spanish groups. It is extremely important for diabetics and their family caregivers to meet and have a free exchange of ideas and vent their feelings in a way only others who are struggling with a chronic disease like diabetes can truly understand. Diabetes can have a profound emotional toll and impact on persons living with it directly and indirectly. Groups discuss everything and anything from how they are coping with diabetes, to what strategies work for them, to sharing information and resources that can help each other. Please call for dates and times of our groups.
“Sabor y Sazón” Healthy Cooking Program
Our fun and healthy cooking classes are taught within our 8-week Lucha program but at times are taught separately at various events such as health fairs and other occasions. Participants are taught practical ways of shopping for healthier foods on a budget as well as learning a few healthier versions of Latino recipes for themselves and their families. Participants are also given free cookbooks and items are raffled such as LDA aprons, hats, t-shirts, measuring spoons, and other prizes. Participants are also encouraged to start a small garden to grow their own herbs and vegetables. Healthy cooking involves the use of more spice and healthier ingredients to make the foods you already know and love even healthier.
“Mi Vida Yoga” and Exercise Program
The Latino Diabetes Association understands that your emotional health and spirituality has a huge impact on your health. Because of this, the LDA is the first known diabetes organization to introduce yoga community education to its participants by our “Mi Vida Yoga” Latina inspired yoga exercise program. Yoga is definitely not a religion but a natural way of exercise, self-awareness, and an ancient way to promote peace and harmony in yourself and others. It is a positive way to promote a more healthy mind, body, and spirit to
Diabetics especially need information and resources to help them get the help they need. Because of this, the LDA provides all participants or callers information and referral to the resources they need. Diabetics do not only suffer from diabetes, but other health barriers and related chronic diseases that prevent them from living a productive life. We provide supportive services and case management by linking our participants to needed programs, services and resources to additional help from governmental or nonprofit organizations providing free or low-cost services. See our “Resources” section for more information. Our downloadable “LDA Resource Directory” should be completed by the end of 2013.