Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Grantee Name

Catholic Health Services of Long Island

Funding Area

Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Publication Date

October 2013

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

May 14, 2012 – August 19, 2013

Diabetes prevalence rates continue to rise in the United States, including in New York.

In Suffolk County on Long Island, 10% of residents have diabetes, a higher rate than the national average of 9.5%. People with diabetes are 1.6 times more likely than those without diabetes to be readmitted to a hospital within 30 days, underscoring the critical need for diabetes self-management skills. In 2009, three of Catholic Health Services of Long Island’s six hospitals offered part-time, community-based diabetes self-management education programs that followed a nationally recognized, evidence-based curriculum. In 2012, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded Catholic Health Services of Long Island (CHS) a grant to support the growth and replication of American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Nationally Recognized Centers to all six CHS hospitals. The grant also provided funding to support the establishment of two Spanish-language diabetes self-management classes.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Established six AADE Nationally Recognized Programs and two bilingual classes for Spanish-speaking patients, enabling CHS to serve 4,061 patients living with diabetes;
  • Expanded one site’s service line to include gestational diabetes education services, providing an opportunity to educate pregnant mothers with diabetes. CHS senior leadership now is supporting the expansion of gestational diabetes counseling systemwide;
  • Implemented a process for patient access, enrollment, and billing at each site during the initial months of the grant. This supported the business case for the program, which resulted in CHS leadership supporting the programs for the foreseeable future; and
  • Showed steady improvements at the three-month follow-up mark for participant outcomes of the diabetes self-management programs at all six sites (see table). More than 95% of participants also reported that they felt more confident handling their diabetes and would recommend the CHS programs to others.
Percentage of participants who lost weight  83% 40% 54% 80%
Percentage of participants who lowered their A1c levels 50% 70% 69% 80%


Two challenges arose in implementing this project. Initially, the advertising campaign did not include information pertaining to patient access, which hindered participant recruitment. In response, CHS requested budget reallocation approval from NYHealth to relaunch the advertising campaign targeting communities surrounding each hospital throughout Long Island. This campaign clearly addressed how to enroll, resulting in increased participation rates during the last three months of the grant.

Another barrier to participation was the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Patients were distracted with personal recovery efforts and were therefore less likely to attend diabetes self-management classes. Consequently, NYHealth agreed to extend the grant period for two months to enable recruitment efforts to continue once the major recovery efforts were over.

CHS is committed to continued growth and success of a systemwide diabetes education initiative. To that end, CHS is leveraging NYHealth’s grant as it continues to expand its programs and seek additional certifications.