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Certification of Diabetes Educators a Milestone in Minority Health | News

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Certification of Diabetes Educators a Milestone in Minority Health
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Certification of Diabetes Educators a Milestone in Minority Health

Jericho Road Ministries, in partnership with the University at Buffalo’s Primary Care Research Institute, is delighted to announce the successful certification of two diabetes educators, Shajuana Smith and Emma Byrd.  On November 15th, 2010, Shajuana and Emma passed the national certification exam through the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE).

In 2008, Jericho Road Ministries and UB’s Primary Care Research Institute joined together in a groundbreaking diabetes project that has changed diabetes education on Buffalo’s East and West Sides.  Recognizing that the very people with the highest rate of diabetes (people from minority and low-income communities) often have the least access to culturally appropriate diabetes education, JRM and UB set out to empower West and East Side residents living with this chronic disease.

Shajuana Smith and Emma Byrd are believed to be the only practicing women of color to be diabetes educators in the city of Buffalo.  Their certification is an invaluable contribution to community service in the West and East Sides.  Smith describes, “A large part of our success has to do with culturally sensitive diabetes education and medical nutrition therapy with the knowledge of ethnic foods and food preparation.”  

This certification is a culmination of a three-year project, funded by the New York State Health Foundation and the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York. In three years, Smith and Byrd have educated over 1,500 individuals through 4,480 encounters. The work of this project will serve as a case study for examining chronic disease self-management among culturally and linguistically isolated groups. Smith and Byrd will continue to serve low-income and refugee families at Jericho Road Family Practice and Jefferson Family Medical.

Stephanie Lipnicki, Executive Director of Jericho Road Ministries, is proud of their accomplishment. “The completion of this pioneering project is not an end, but a beginning. We expect to see more minority diabetes educators trained not only in WNY, but in minority communities across the country as we help others to replicate our model.”  

The mission of Jericho Road Ministries is to facilitate wellness and self-sufficiency in the lives of refugee and low-income community members in Buffalo by addressing health, education, and economic barriers.

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