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El Poder Diabetes Program Earns State Award

The New Jersey Hospital Association and its Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey today honored Somerset Medical Center's El Poder Sobre La Diabetes Program for helping the Hispanic population to prevent or delay diabetes. The association recognizes organizations that identify community needs and implement programs to serve those needs. Its 2013 awards recognized achievements in the following categories: enhancing access and quality of care to reduce disparities; improving end-of-life care; and preventing disease and injury.

The El Poder program, coordinated by Somerset Medical Center's Community Health Department, was honored in the category of Improving Nutrition and Wellbeing.

Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death for Hispanics in the United States and El Poder assists 100 individuals annually in making lifestyle changes that will reduce at least one of the risk factors for diabetes. The program offers four, 10-week education sessions where participants commit to 10, 90-minute sessions that are held in locations convenient and familiar to the participants such as churches and community centers.

The program has consistently demonstrated positive participant health outcomes and in 2013, 95 percent of participants showed improvements.

The New Jersey Hospital Association, based in Princeton, is the statewide advocate for its 108-member hospitals, its 300-plus post-acute members and the patients they serve.