The Diabetes Project operates under the direction of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Health and Human Services Department (THHS). THHS is jointly accredited with Indian Health Service (IHS) Fort Hall Service Area by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). THHS functions as a branch of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Government with direction and supervision from the Fort Hall Business Council and Executive Director in collaboration with an advisory community health board. The Diabetes Project mission, collaboration, and dynamic approach with medical staff and community provide an ideal solution to prevent diabetes and complications. Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) funding has made it possible to provide nutrition and education services to prevent diabetes and complications for patients in the Fort Hall Service Area. IHS Fort Hall Services Area Not-tsoo Gah-nee Clinic accommodates the Diabetes Project by providing clinical space and access to the electronic health record. This partnership provides patients and providers the ability to communicate with staff about individual needs. There has recently been a change in staff as the Diabetes Grant Coordinator moved into the THHS Director position for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. The remaining three staff members of The Diabetes Project include a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), a Diabetes Educator and a Diabetes Care Coordinator Assistant. The RDN is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist with a Master of Public Health degree, and has taken on the role of the Diabetes Grant Coordinator. The Diabetes Educator is a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. The Diabetes Care Coordinator Assistant is a Certified Nursing Assistant who assists with case management and appointment scheduling, and is currently the Interim Diabetes Manager for the program. The Diabetes Project has been funded through SDPI since 1998. SDPI funding s
upports services provided to patients and community members in a variety of formats and meets varying needs of prevention (primary, secondary, and tertiary). The Diabetes Project focuses on direct patient care by providing services focused on Diabetes Self-Management Education and Medical Nutrition Therapy. These services are provided in the office, via telehealth or at the patient’s home to support individual need, in collaboration with the medical team and community resources. The Diabetes Project participates in community events, wellness gatherings, hosts diabetes conferences and education seminars in a variety of formats to appeal to the greater community. The Diabetes Project works closely with local schools to provide educational opportunities including direct education and internships. The program also provides assistance in paying for diabetic shoes/inserts and eyeglasses for patients who meet criteria and have completed diabetes education. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many challenges in providing community outreach as well as in-person visits for nutrition education and foot exams. As foot exams declined over the course of the pandemic, the Diabetes Project’s Best Practice for the 2023 grant cycle will be to increase foot exams among adult diabetic patients receiving primary and diabetic care at the IHS Fort Hall Service Area Not-tsoo Gah-nee Clinic. Over the course of the SDPI funding, the Diabetes Project has built a program based in best practice and community involvement for the prevention of diabetes and complications. Diabetes continues to be a problem in the Fort Hall community and the Diabetes Project provides resources and support for patients living with diabetes. Continued SDPI funding will provide ongoing support for diabetic patients in the community and continued outreach for primary prevention activities.