An innovative approach to care for people with diabetes. The Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute (DHWI) at Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center is the cornerstone of Baylor’s Southern Sector Health Initiative, opened in 2010, to address the region’s health care needs relative to diabetes. The center works to weave diabetes prevention into the fabric of the community, so it is a natural and convenient part of life in this neighborhood.
DHWI is conveniently located near the Fair Park DART line. DHWI is built on four fundamental principles, which include: collaborative financial support and governance; integration of social, cultural, political, and economic initiatives; clinical care in the neighborhood; and community-based, multidisciplinary research.
Diabetes is common in South Dallas. Within the city of Dallas, people who live in the city’s Southern Sector (south of Interstate 30 and east of Interstate 35) often have diabetes, have more problems from their diabetes and are more often hospitalized for diabetes than people who live in any other area of Dallas County.
People who live in the Frazier neighborhood of South Dallas, have the highest rate of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke in the city. Residents in surrounding ZIP codes are three-times more likely to die from diabetes compared to those living elsewhere in Dallas.
Founded in 2010, DHWI is a collaboration between Baylor Health Care System and the Cityof Dallas, to provide access to quality health care and disease prevention services to southern Dallas.
Prior to DHWI’s opening, the area lacked services that are essential to living healthy, such as access to doctors’ offices or hospitals, healthy food options and grocery stores, exercise programs,and affordable transportation.
Providing access to a health care team, including a physician, nurses, care coordinators and diabeteseducation specialists, DHWI offers a simple yet innovative approach to combating diabetes and has woven itself into the culture of this community to impact societal change.
As someone with diabetes, I know how much of an impact simple things like cooking classes, fresh foods and affordable diabetes supplies can make – these services are desperately needed.
The Diabetes Self-Management Education Program is an interactive and collaborative program that involves an interdisciplinary team of diabetes educators. It empowers people with diabetes to successfully self-manage their disease through building knowledge and skills to make informed decisions and effectively communicate with health care providers.
The Community Health Worker Training Program provides training and education to community health workers or “promotoras” who: 1) provide cultural mediation between health care, social services and the community, 2) link people to services, and 3) build individual, community/system capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through activities. Training trusted members of the local community to communicate information helps change attitudes and beliefs that preclude people from accessing services.
Senior Exercise Programs improve activities of daily living, functional fitness, cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance. Health benefits from the senior exercise program at DHWI are contingent on achievement of each participant’s behavior change goal related to “being active.” The program enhances self-efficacy and improving physical function.
Through cooking classes at DHWI, participants learn how to create healthier meals from foods that are readily available to them. They learn how to select foods and prepare meals designed to promote weight loss, help normalize serum lipid levels and control blood sugar. Participants have access to many of these nutritious foods through the Institute’s weekly Farm Stand.
The flagship fundraising event benefiting DHWI, brings together more than 900 supporters each year to raise awareness and generate funding for the Institute’s diabetes self-management and wellness programs, education initiatives and outreach projects. For more information related to sponsorship or marketing opportunities related to this event, please visit here.
For more information related to DHWI and ways you can support, please contact Amy Monday at 214-820-4771 or Amy.Monday@BaylorHealth.edu.
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