Despite medical and technological advances, more than 30 million Americans live with diabetes, and it is estimated that the number will rise to 44.1 million by 2034. The National Diabetes Statistic Report (2017) stated that diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2015. This finding is based on 79,535 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death. Risk behaviors include having a family history of diabetes, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excess body weight, among other factors, all of which is costly when left unaddressed. Improving health for those living with diabetes and preventing onset for those at-risk can be a priority for all. However, rural residents and minority communities often encounter barriers to healthcare that limit their ability to obtain the care they need.

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Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires a person to make a multitude of daily self-management decisions and perform complex care activities. Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) is the process that equips persons living with diabetes with the knowledge and skills to enhance self-care behaviors. Teaching peer educators and providing them with the competency to deliver self-management education will enable them to increase access to care in these at-risk communities. PEEPS™ aims to utilize internet-based DSMES to overcome the barriers of distance, limited access, and a limited supply of certified diabetes care and education specialists in addressing an overwhelming public health problem.

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This course introduces participants to the core concepts of diabetes self-management education. The PEEPS™ diabetes program provides an opportunity for laypersons and professionals to connect, exchange information, and meet the needs of persons living with diabetes. The PEEPS™ diabetes program will prepare community members to be certified community peer counselors, who can provide valuable services to their communities. Participants of this course will learn about the various types of diabetes and how to reduce the risks for short and long-term complications. This information will be taught through engaging videos, ungraded quizzes, and completed graded assignments.

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A practicing certified diabetes care and education specialist, Angella White, MS-DEDM, RN, CDCES, created this course for persons who wish to become a part of a network of high performing community-level support in diabetes self-management education. If you have an interest in improving the quality of care through the application of diabetes-related knowledge and skills to implement change at the community level, this course is for you. This course is taken online by the participant. Participants will be required to participate in discussions in the course community and share insights that will further enhance the learning experience.

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Successful completion of all 7 modules will result in a PEEPS™ Certificate of Completion.

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