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Volunteers Will Provide Support, Connect Individuals with Necessary Resources to Manage Disease

HACKENSACK, N.J., July 26, 2018 – As of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – or 9.4 percent of the U.S. population – have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes. When newly diagnosed, it’s natural for patients and their families to feel overwhelmed, scared and confused.  Diabetes Foundation’s (DF) new Diabetes Resource Coach Program – set to launch Oct. 1 – is designed to provide individuals with the emotional support, education and resources necessary to overcome the daily challenges of managing this lifelong condition.

“We’re very excited to bring this new one-on-one personal coaching to members of the community,” said Ginine Cilenti, executive director of DF. “Diabetes Resource Coaches will play a vital role in mentoring and guiding individuals living with diabetes. Our goal is to make it easier for those impacted to access information they need quickly and efficiently based on the diabetes care plan provided by their doctor. The number of people newly diagnosed with this disease is growing each year and this program is positioned to expand based on the number of individuals that call to seek our help.”

Diabetes Resource Coach Program volunteers will direct diabetes program participants to a range of important resources including local healthcare experts; tips and tools for disease management; nutrition, fitness and wellness programs; educational offerings provided by hospitals and community organizations; and support groups for children, teens and adults. Coaches also will assist uninsured/under-insured individuals find short- and long-term prescription assistance programs, and other free and affordable wellness resources.

Program Volunteers Needed

Cilenti said six volunteers already have signed on to become coaches for the Diabetes Resource Coach Program but additional support is needed. Volunteers must be age 21 or older and computer proficient; full training is provided. A class for new volunteers is scheduled for Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the DF Hackensack offices located at 411 Hackensack Ave. To fill out a volunteer application or for more information, call (201) 444-0337, e-mail diabetesresourcecoach@diabetesfoundationinc.org or visit the organization’s website at www.diabetesfoundationinc.org.

Due to the personal interaction with participants, a minimum one-year commitment to the Diabetes Resource Coach Program is required. Coaches will be asked to work one day a week for approximately 4-6 hours per day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Volunteers will establish a portfolio of regular patients, in addition to fielding incoming calls as needed. Bilingual English/Spanish proficiency is a plus.

“Experience speaking with patients/customers via telephone, and familiarity with diabetes – either through one’s personal experience or medical training – certainly is helpful, but not required,” said Cilenti. “This is an excellent opportunity for healthcare professionals, students, retirees or anyone with a passion for helping others to make a difference and truly improve the lives of those coping with diabetes.”

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About Diabetes Foundation Inc.

Diabetes Foundation Inc. is dedicated to supporting New Jersey residents living with diabetes by offering programs that provide medication assistance, one-on-one support and local resources. Since 1990, adults and children living with diabetes have utilized the Diabetes Foundation’s services to access costly medications, education programs and local resources to manage diabetes and adopt a healthy lifestyle. The Diabetes Foundation serves insured and uninsured women, men and children of all ages, with all types of diabetes, who live in New Jersey.

Photo Caption: The first group of volunteers have signed on to the Diabetes Foundation’s (DF) new Diabetes Resource Coach Program. These volunteer coaches will play an important role in directing diabetes patients to a range of important community resources. Pictured are Sindy Chuy (left) and Tiffany Hernandez.

Media Contacts:
Karen Ravensbergen/Emily Ackel
Caryl Communications
201-796-7788
karen@caryl.com / emily@caryl.com