Health and Wellness Division makes Coordinated Care Calls to evaluate diabetes program

By Tim Wohlers

For the last month and a half, the Health and Wellness Division has been making phone calls to tribal members with diabetes to ensure that their needs are being met. 
“We started making the calls in September,” said Health and Wellness Coordinator Sara Peterson.  “And we’re still in the process of making them.” 
The calls have helped the division gather information about its patients, Peterson said, as well as the care that they’ve been receiving to treat their diabetes.  That information has enabled staff members to gauge the success of their program, and identify any areas in need of improvement. 
“The reason behind these calls is to really ensure that the people we provide care for through our diabetes program are receiving all the care they need,” Peterson said.  “And it’s a chance for us, as the Health and Wellness Division, to determine if there’s anything more we could be doing.”
The feedback has already provided insight into how the division can improve its Basics program, Peterson said.  For several patients expressed concern over the time commitment that’s involved, and suggested that the number of classes be reduced. 
“It’s a big time commitment,” Peterson said, “especially for somebody just looking to kick start their journey to better health.” 
Based on the recommendations, the program manager said she’ll be changing the current format. So rather than facilitating the course over a period of eight weeks, the division would offer it as a two-day workshop instead. 
“We feel like it’s going to be more beneficial,” Peterson said, “due to some of the feedback we’ve been receiving.” 
Peterson expressed hope that such changes will help the division retain more of its participants.  She said that doing so has always been one of its main goals. 
“We’re constantly looking at things that will improve retention rates within our classes,” Peterson said, “so we can reach more people.” 
According to Peterson, the phone calls have helped her division figure out ways to do just that.  They have also afforded patients a chance to make their own suggestions, as far as things they’d like to see in the future. 
“It’s just program betterment,” Peterson said, “seeing how we can make our program better and what tribal members would like to see from it.” 
The division has already called more than two hundred of the people in its selected target group, and plans to call over four hundred others by the end of October.  Peterson said that the goal is to contact all 660 patients in its diabetes registry by that time. 
“We want to have them all done by the end of this month,” Peterson said.  “So Oct. 31 is our deadline.” 
All patients in the diabetes program who have not yet been contacted should expect a phone call, in the weeks to come.