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April Partner Spotlight

The Massachusetts Diabetes Education Program Partners with NDEP to Emphasize the Importance of PPOD Professionals in Diabetes Care


The Massachusetts Diabetes Education Program (MDEP) Coalition is a statewide coalition based on the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) model. This unique MDEP Coalition has a working group of member health providers that is developing a communications program aimed at educating the public and its members regarding the important role that the coalition’s providers play in diabetes management, education, and prevention.

Coalition member pharmacist, podiatrist, optometrist, and dental care (PPOD) professionals are often a primary point of care for people with type 2 diabetes. Working with primary care providers, these professionals play an important role in ensuring that diabetes care is continuous and patient-centered. PPOD professionals educate people with diabetes about the disease, encourage them to practice self-management, provide appropriate treatment, and refer those who require the care of other health professionals.

Screen of MDEP website


The goals of the MDEP Coalition are to:

  • Reinforce consistent diabetes prevention and management messages to patients
  • Promote a team approach to comprehensive diabetes care
  • Encourage collaboration among PPOD care providers to provide enhanced patient care and increase referrals to one another
  • Promote diabetes prevention and provide diabetes management education to the public.

The core message of the MDEP is, “If you have diabetes, it’s important to know your blood sugar level, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and to review your medications with your pharmacist each year. It’s also important to bring all your medicines and visit your optometrist and podiatrist at least once a year and your dentist every six months to avoid serious, diabetes-related health problems such as blindness, foot amputations, drug interactions, and heart disease.”

Promotion and Outreach

Image of Optometrist and a patient

The MDEP has conducted three education programs, including Yankee Dental Congress 2010 and 2011 and the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Region One conference. More than 650 Massachusetts PPOD providers have seen the PPOD panel presentation, and all materials developed were based on NDEP’s Working Together to Manage Diabetes: A Guide for Pharmacists, Podiatrists, Optometrists, and Dental Professionals, 2007. From late January to late February 2011, the MDEP ran a pilot media campaign that consisted of print, online, and radio public service announcements (PSAs) developed to reach African American and Hispanic/Latino communities. The timing of the campaign coincided with the Yankee Dental Congress MDEP panel presentation and breakout session. The PSAs urged people with diabetes to know their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and to visit their PPOD medical management team at least annually and twice a year for dentists. Specifically, the PSAs were featured:

  • In print publications such as El Planeta, Bay State Banner, and World Journal
  • On radio stations such as WORC 1310 AM, WLLH 1400 AM, WACM 1490 AM, and WJFD 97.3 FM
  • On local TV channels 4, 5, 6 and 7 and Telemundo

To view the TV PSAs, click here.

The MDEP also has developed a bilingual website,, which is available in English and Spanish and links to the NDEP website. Lastly, the MDEP has developed an informational video featuring various PPOD professionals providing tips to help people with diabetes learn how to lower their risk for serious, diabetes-related health problems.

Lessons Learned

Image of an upside down image effect on lens

“It is paramount that the leadership of organizations be on board with the message. Without the leadership support of the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association, Massachusetts Podiatric Medical Society, Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, and Massachusetts Dental Society committing staff time and money, this coalition would not have been possible. The staff of the organizations were key in this program’s success. We had a great team of talented professionals with which to work, said Lee Ball O.D., F.A.A.O., an NDEP volunteer.

For more information about this program, contact Dr. Ball at or (978) 646-9093.

AADE Webinar Highlights NDEP’s School Guide

American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) logo

In March, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) coordinated a webinar entitled, “Kids and Diabetes: An Assessment of Needs and Resources.” Moderated by Francine Kaufman, M.D., past NDEP chair, the webinar covered:

  • What kids and families need to manage diabetes and the resources available to them
  • The neuropsychological effect of type 1 and type 2 diabetes on children
  • The insulin pump and its role in the child's life
  • How kids can manage diabetes at school

As part of the discussion, Dr. Kaufman referenced NDEP’s recently updated Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel as a resource for parents, students, and school personnel. To view upcoming 2011 AADE webinars, click here. To view or download the NDEP School Guide or promotional toolkit, click here.

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