The Hackensack-based Diabetes Foundation announced a new partnership with DiabetesSisters to grow the support network for women with diabetes across New Jersey. DF will work with DiabetesSisters to recruit and train peer mentors who can then facilitate support groups that allow women to better manage and cope with their diabetes.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with DiabetesSisters, a renowned organization with a mission that directly aligns with our own,” Ginine Cilenti, executive director of the Diabetes Foundation, said. “Diabetes is challenging enough to navigate. We want to be sure that women of all ages and with any type of diabetes have a community of support and guidance behind them.”
PODS, DiabetesSisters’ signature program, is the nation’s only program that organizes volunteer leaders to facilitate peer support groups for women with diabetes or prediabetes. This monthly peer support group program is meant for women, living with diabetes or prediabetes, and is organized and led by PODS leaders, who are trained peer mentors that are also living with diabetes. As part of the partnership, the DF will identify individuals in communities across New Jersey who qualify and are interested in becoming PODS leaders.
DiabetesSisters stresses that, whether you were diagnosed yesterday or 25 years ago, New Jersey women are welcome to its PODS Meetups. The intention of the meetings is to create an open, respectful space for women with diabetes or prediabetes to focus on their health. Participants are able to share experiences, words of encouragement and lived expertise with others who are in similar places with their health and managing their diabetes.
“At DiabetesSisters, our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of women with diabetes, and an integral part of that mission is making sure they have a healthy support system,” Anna Norton, CEO of DiabetesSisters, said. “Our partnership with the Diabetes Foundation will allow us to reach more women and provide them with the support they need to empower them to effectively manage their diabetes.”
Beyond the recruitment of volunteer PODS leaders, the DF will provide all participants with access to the organization’s free programming, as well as a variety of virtual learning opportunities including caretaker education.