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April Partner Spotlight

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Uses NDEP Resources to Raise Awareness of Diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives

The National Kidney Disease Education Program Background

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is a non-profit tribal health consortium of 18 Native communities which serve the health interests of the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and other Native people of Southeast Alaska. SEARHC’s vision is to improve the health status of Native people in Southeast Alaska and other partners to the highest possible level. SEARHC is also a 2011 ADA John Pipe Voices for Change award recipient for its advocacy work for effective diabetes treatment and prevention services in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Outreach and Promotions

SEARHC, incorporates the National Diabetes Education Program’s (NDEP) diabetes education materials – such as Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, We Have the Power to Prevent Diabetes, and 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life – in its “Know Your Numbers” campaign. The National Kidney Disease Education Program The campaign targets health care professionals, people with diabetes, and people at risk for diabetes, with messages about understanding blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels to prevent and manage diabetes.

Maybelle Filler, Diabetes Grants Department Manager at SEARHC explained, “We look to the NDEP for information because the program provides content that is easy to use and understand and is tailored for our audiences. I don’t have to worry about the credibility of the information because it is up-to-date and research based.”

Campaign outreach involves inserting monthly columns in local newspapers using NDEP messages and content. The columns promote the “Know Your Numbers” tagline, information about target blood pressure, A1C and cholesterol goals, as well as tips for healthy eating and getting active.

Additionally, SEARHC inserts NDEP’s Diabetes Risk Test into local newspapers during key observances such as American Heart Month and National Diabetes Month. SEARHC adapted the Diabetes Risk Test to include an invitation to see a local doctor if readers have questions or concerns, healthy eating tips, and a link to the NDEP website.

Results and Lessons Learned

SEARHC’s diabetes outreach success is due to finding the right motivators that work in the community to get people involved in diabetes prevention and management. Pictures and narratives from local residents receive the biggest impact in the community and are the best motivators for action.

For more information about the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium contact Maybelle Filler at or (907) 966-8739.

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