Living Healthy Diabetes Self-Management Program

WNYICC partners with Erie County Senior Services, Niagara County Department of Health and Niagara County Office for the Aging to offer the Living Healthy Diabetes Self-Management Program at over 15 locations throughout the WNY Region.

Some of our site locations include:

  • Sheridan Medical Group
  • ECMC Family Health Center
  • Amherst Senior Center
  • The Dale Association
  • Town of Aurora Senior Center
  • Hamburg Senior Center
  • Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital
  • Schiller Park Senior Center
  • Clarence Senior Center
  • Town of Tonawanda Senior Center
  • Lancaster Senior Center
  • West Seneca Senior Center
  • Lewiston Senior Center
  • Eastern Niagara Hospital
  • Community Health Center of Niagara Falls
  • John Duke Senior Center
  • North Tonawanda Senior Center

The Living Healthy Diabetes Self-Management workshop is given 2½ hours once a week for six weeks, in community settings such as churches, community centers, libraries and hospitals. People with type 2 diabetes attend the workshop in groups of 12-16. Workshops are facilitated from a highly detailed manual by two trained Leaders, one or both of whom are peer leaders with diabetes themselves.

In addition to the 6-week classes, participants enrolled in Medicare and have diabetes may be eligible to receive additional Nutrition Counseling one-on-one with a Registered Dietitian through WNY Integrated Care's Accredited Diabetes Self-management and Education and Support (DSMES) program. WNY Integrated Care and our partners play an integral role in expanding the use of Medicare's Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) benefit among under-served older adults with a diagnosis of diabetes by using SMRC 's Diabetes Self-Management Program as the core curriculum of an expanded program that meets the ten National Standards. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data for 2011, 28% of Medicare beneficiaries have a diagnosis of diabetes, yet the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) estimates that only 1.5% of eligible Medicare beneficiaries have used their DSMT benefit.

Provider Information:

Does the Program replace existing programs and treatments?

The program does not conflict with existing programs or treatment. Treatment is not altered. For medical questions, participants are referred to their physicians or diabetes educators. If the content of the workshop conflicts with instructions they receive elsewhere, they are advised to follow their physicians' orders and discuss discrepancies with the physician.

How can a Physician submit a referral for a patient to attend the program?

Providers can securely fax a referral for their patients into the program through our secure fax number:

  • Erie County -
  • Niagara County -

Click here (NEED FORM) for a printable version of Diabetes Self-Management Referral Form.

Great video for Providers interested in offering the program for their patients:

Subjects covered include:

  1. techniques to deal with the symptoms of diabetes, fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress, and emotional problems such as depression, anger, fear and frustration;
  2. appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance;
  3. healthy eating
  4. appropriate use of medication; and
  5. working more effectively with health care providers. Participants will make weekly action plans, share experiences, and help each other solve problems they encounter in creating and carrying out their self-management program. Physicians, diabetes educators, dietitians, and other health professionals both at Stanford and in the community have reviewed all materials in the workshop.

Each participant in the workshop receives a copy of the companion book, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions, 4th Edition, and an audio relaxation tape.*

It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants' confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

For People Interested in Registering for the Workshop

Great video for individuals diagnosed with Diabetes who are interested in the workshops:

Click here to sign up to attend a work-shop. We will contact you and register you.

How was the programs developed?

The original Diabetes Self-Management Program was developed in Spanish. After successful outcomes were found with that program, the Stanford Patient Education Research Center (now Self-Management Resource Center) received a grant from the California HealthCare Foundation for the randomized, controlled study to test the workshop's effectiveness for English-speakers. The study was completed in 2008.

Six months after the workshop, participants had significant improvements in depression, symptoms of hypoglycemia, communication with physicians, healthy eating, and reading food labels. They also had significant improvements in patient activation and self-efficacy. At 12 months, DSMP participants continued to demonstrate improvements in depression, communication with physicians, healthy eating, patient activation, and self-efficacy. There were no significant changes in utilization or A1C (A1C values were already in the desirable range at the beginning of the study for most participants).**

How can my facility or staff offer the Program?

Our trained Peer Leaders are either volunteers or come from numerous community based organizations. Trainings to become a Peer Leader are available here in Western New York as full 4 day Leader training or 2 day cross-training for those who are already trained in Living Healthy (CDSMP).
See our Training Page for more information.

*Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions by Lorig, Sobel, Laurent, González and Minor (2006), as well as the audio CD can be ordered from Bull Publishing.

**Results reported in: Lorig K, Ritter PL, Villa FJ, Armas J, Community-based peer-led diabetes self-management: a randomized trial. Diabetes Educator, 35(4):641-651, 2009.

+General information provided from Self-Management Resource Center's website: