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Seton Health’s Defy Diabetes Initiative

As a comprehensive, integrated Catholic health care system in Troy, NY, Seton Health provides regional-based services to residents of Rensselaer, Southern Saratoga, and Northern Albany counties. The mission of Seton Health is to commit itself to serving all people, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.

With the support of NYSHealth, Seton Health’s Defy Diabetes project has advanced this mission through the formation of an interdisciplinary Defy Diabetes working committee, collaborative partnerships, faith community parish nurses, and nurse champions and physicians within the primary care system. This team is working to reach 1,000 people through Seton Health’s Faith Community Parish Nurse Program via health fairs, church talks, and healthy living classes. The team also is engaging 25 primary physician practices to achieve both American Diabetes Association guidelines and National Committee for Quality Assurance certification through quarterly practice assessments and regular chart reviews. Defy Diabetes will serve as a replicable model for the partnership between the faith community and health care systems.

Seton Health shared the work of its Defy Diabetes project at the August 2009 American Association of Diabetes Educators conference in San Antonio, Texas. Seton Health’s presentation was received with great enthusiasm by certified diabetes educators interested in replicating Seton Health’s Defy Diabetes Nurse Champion model in both faith communities and primary care sites throughout the country.