Great Plains QIN South Dakota Diabetes Care Team recognized as Better Choices, Better Health Champion.


The passion of the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (QIN) diabetes care team for teaching proven diabetes self-management education was recognized at the Office for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion meeting on October 17, 2018, with the presentation of the Better Choices, Better Health Champion Award.

Each member of the team, which includes Denise Kolba, RN, BSN, CNS, Vicki Palmreuter and Cheri Fast, RN, BSN, WOCN, is certified as a Master Trainer.  Collectively they conducted 26 workshops for a total of 390 hours sharing tools and encouragement with 416 individuals working to manage or prevent diabetes.

Tina Melanson, MD, a nephrologist at Prairie Lakes Healthcare System in Watertown, SD, shared, “Self-management education programs provide the added support and training for long-term change beyond the exam room.  Better Choices, Better Health teaches proven methods for making healthy choices and I recommend the workshop to many of my patients.  Those who choose to participate typically experience positive health outcomes and improved quality of life.”

Better Choices, Better Health workshops serve as a compliment to the customized disease and treatment education provided by healthcare providers and certified diabetes educators.  Referral programs encourage individuals to take advantage of the program to achieve long-term change and create a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

“Little did I know becoming a master trainer for Better Choices, Better Health would have so many benefits. In addition to the satisfaction of witnessing participants reach their weekly goals, I have used the workshop tools to improve my personal health journey,” explained Palmreuter. “Taking small steps in the right direction increases success and confidence, which results in better health outcomes. Facilitating these workshops makes me feel like I am truly making a difference in the well being of my community!”

Kolba added, “To watch as participants realize their potential to impact their health and become empowered to make healthy changes is gratifying.”  She encourages healthcare facilities to develop a referral process for diabetes self-management education and to promote the opportunity for becoming a lay leader or master trainer.  “Being a Better Choices, Better Health leader is a great opportunity to make an impact in your community, and the leader training gives you the all the tools you need to lead workshops successfully.”

Upcoming Better Choices, Better Health with Diabetes Workshops

  1. Brookings, SD: Starts October 29
  2. Pierre, SD: Starts November 5
  3. Platte, SD: Starts November 9