Dexter Shurney MD promotes a 360-degree approach to lifestyle change to manage chronic disease

Dexter ShurneyWorksite clinics providing intensive lifestyle interventions are good business for some forward-thinking employers. They lead to measurable improvement in the health status of employees with chronic conditions, and — in the case of Cummins, Inc., according to CMO for Global Health & Wellness, Dr. Dexter Shurney — some of the key interventions tend to pay for themselves within six months.

The health status improvement also tends to not be limited to the chronic disease that is the subject of the intervention. Diabetes interventions lead to improvements in diabetes (some people with diabetes going off insulin entirely), but also to improvements in controlling hypertension, cholesterol and other conditions.

Come hear Dr. Shurney discuss his experiences in implementing these interventions at Diabetes Innovation 2013.

Dr. Shurney used the metaphor of a vegetable garden in our conversation: If you have a healthy plant, it’s because: “The roots are healthy. The stem is healthy. The leaves are healthy and it bears good fruit.” Changing the overall environment, through the heavy lifting done in the primary care medical homes at the Cummins worksite clinics, yields improvement across multiple conditions.

(Listen to our conversation, and read a transcript, after the jump.) [Read more…]

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A teenager takes control: Hadley George

hadley georgePlenty of people with diabetes struggle with the daily rituals involved in keeping themselves healthy.

Not everyone — and certainly not all fourteen-year-old girls with Type 1 diabetes — have the wherewithal to recognize the burnout, decide to take action, and begin to build a local community group of peers with diabetes.

That’s exactly what Hadley George did.

When I asked her what she’s looking forward to about Diabetes Innovation 2013, she answered:

This is not an experience that kids of my age normally get. I’m only fifteen years old and I get to do this, so I am very blessed. I hope that people hear my story and maybe will start something like this in their town. And I also hope that it will give hopes for people who have children with Type 1 that it’s not the end of the world and that great things can come out of it. Because I would say that, I am very — I know this sounds weird, but I am very glad that I have Type 1, because it’s really given me a different outlook on life. And although in November and December, I wasn’t really thinking this, now I have gotten so many new friends and it’s just really changed my life for the better.

Listen in on our conversation now, and come hear Hadley discuss community building at Diabetes Innovation 2013.

Read the full transcript after the jump.

Hadley George Diabetes Innovation Interview 08 2013

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College Diabetes Network CEO Christina Roth Networks with Diabetes Innovation

christina rothCollege Diabetes Network (CDN) founder and CEO Christina Roth has diabetes. When she was a college student she found that she didn’t have an adequate support system, so she built one for herself, and created the infrastructure for students on other college campuses to do the same.

Fast forward to the present, and she is at the helm of a growing not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the tools necessary to empower persons with diabetes who happen to be college students — going through what is often a challenging time for anyone, not just someone living with a chronic condition requiring monitoring and self-care — to share experiences, share tips (medical advice is moderated by medical professionals) and more, using the existing infrastructure of public social media sites, as well as the CDN website and blog. The organization now offers resources for parents of college-age children with diabetes as well.

In building this ecosystem of support, Christina has focused in part on providing curated advice from medical professionals in a manner that can be accessed easily by college students, but the secret sauce is the peer support network that CDN is building out on line and in the real world (chapters established on over thirty campuses across the US and Canada in just four years, starting when Christina was an undergrad).

Have a listen to our conversation, which clocks in at about fifteen minutes.  Come hear Christina talk about CDN at Diabetes Innovation 2013.

Read the transcript after the jump.

Christina Roth Diabetes Innovation Interview 08 2013

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DI speaks with Rushika Fernandopulle, CEO of Iora Health: Managing chronic disease with primary care on steroids

Rushika F I recently spoke with Rushika Fernandopulle, co-founder and CEO of Iora Health, a company based in Cambridge, MA which is building “an entirely new model of primary care.” He will be a panelist at Diabetes Innovation 2013.

In order to improve the health care system, Rushika says we can’t fiddle around the edges. Instead we must take bold steps and start from scratch, beginning with three key elements: (1) Payment redesign, (2) Delivery system redesign, and (3) Health IT systems redesign.

Iora Health has started from scratch and has reinvented primary care for the populations it manages on behalf of large self-insured employers. Rushika acknowledges that he can’t do it alone (even though his company got a nice infusion of capital earlier this year), and wants Iora Health’s model to be emulated by others even as the company expands its reach within its existing geographic markets. The secret sauce is an intensive primary care service staffed with health coaches in addition to the usual suspects. The primary care service costs participating employers about twice as much as typical primary care services, but the results are anything but typical. In fact, they result in a net health care cost savings in the 15% range.

(Listen to our conversation, and read a transcript, after the jump.) [Read more…]

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Diabetes Innovation Gets to “Ask Manny” Hernandez a Few Questions

Manny HernandezI spoke with Manny Hernandez (@askmanny) about the diabetes online communities he founded at TuDiabetes (Engligh) and EsTuDiabetes (Spanish) — which include tens of thousands of people with diabetes and their family members — as well as his experience attending Diabetes Innovation last year, and his thoughts on communications regarding diabetes.

Manny was a keynote speaker at last year’s conference and will take part in a social media panel discussion this year.

I asked him whether social media can play a role in effecting clinical improvements in diabetes management, and he pointed to the Big Blue Test, an initiative of his Diabetes Hands Foundation. He’s presented data from this project at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting: Folks who participate by posting their blood glucose readings before and after 15-20 minutes of exercise, and engaging in online conversation, see long-term benefits in terms of better management of their conditions. (The before-and-after glucose readings showed a 20% drop on average.) Over 40,000 PWD have participated to date. Look for a social media campaign this fall to promote participation in the Big Blue Test in the month leading up to World Diabetes Day.

(Listen to our conversation, and read a transcript, after the jump.) [Read more…]

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Viridian Health CEO Brenda Schmidt talks multi-modal disease management with DI

BrendaSchmidt_1We caught up with Viridian Health CEO Brenda Schmidt after the American Diabetes Association meeting in Chicago where Viridian and Omada Health announced a partnership to launch “the first multimodal lifestyle offering to address the national diabetes epidemic.”

Viridian is scaling its national diabetes program through lifestyle coaches and technology, partnering with Omada Health to provide a social support structure in a virtual environment that mimics the National Diabetes Prevention Program. The power of the partnership lies in the ability to offer individuals choices about how they receive their services: through bricks and mortar sites, or virtually.

(Listen to our conversation after the jump.) [Read more…]

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