Key Takeaways

  • Every year, NISC's annual Programs of Excellence Awards honor and promote the outstanding programs offered by senior centers across the country.

  • Learn more about the National Diabetes Prevention Program Nursing Students Collaborative, the 2022 Programs of Excellence Award Winner in the Intergenerational category.

NISC Programs of Excellence 

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • Programs of Excellence Name: National Diabetes Prevention Program Nursing Students Collaborative
  • Hosting Organization: City of St. Cloud Whitney Senior Center, Minnesota
  • St. Cloud Population: 68,818
  • 60+ Population: 14,451
  • Senior Center Members: 1,287

About the National Diabetes Prevention Program Nursing Students Collaborative

Recognizing the value and effectiveness of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) curriculum, four organizations joined to offer that educational content in a unique way.

The Whitney Senior Center, the Central MN Council on Aging, CentraCare Health serving Central MN, and the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University partnered to train 72 sophomore-level nursing students to deliver NDPP to local older adults. Both nursing programs incorporated NDPP training into their nursing students’ required sophomore year curriculum. The WSC Director is a master trainer, and training was delivered virtually over a four-day period of four hours per day. All partners provided workshop training facilitation.

The senior center coordinated NDPP marketing, registration, data collection, and program management. CentraCare Health worked to identify patients as potential participants through their Population Health Risk and Engagement Department. Patients diagnosed with pre-diabetes were filtered by age and geographic area. If patients matched the target population, they were sent MyChart notifications about upcoming NDPP workshops.

The nursing students were divided into lifestyle coaching teams and facilitated NDPP weekly sessions with their cohorts of participants for 16 weeks. Participants signed up for their desired workshop start times which were offered hourly from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Workshops were offered virtually and in-person.  After the 16 weeks were completed, the senior center and the Central MN Council on Aging helped transition participants to the NDPP post-core phase. Community Health Workers (CHWs) served as trained lifestyle coaches to monitor participants monthly through the end of the calendar year.

Key takeaways from the National Diabetes Prevention Program Nursing Students Collaborative:

  • This partnership provided workforce initiatives and opportunities for the nursing students, cultivating future interest in geriatric nursing.
  • This innovative and creative intergenerational approach brings partners together, serves nursing students by enhancing their resumes, and gives older people the chance to learn from nursing students and each other in a small group setting.
  • Broadening the senior center's reach by delivering the NDPP virtually made it possible to reach rural areas and/or people with transportation issues.

About the City of St. Cloud Whitney Senior  Center

Whitney Senior Center was founded in 1977 and "strives to promote the holistic well-being of all people 55+ in the greater St. Cloud area by providing opportunities for social interaction, recreation, and education. We engage, enrich, and empower the diverse interests and needs of people with dignity, innovation, and joy." Offerings include social, recreational, and educational activities such fitness classes, nutrition and wellness workshops, and technology labs. WSC's Director provides leadership and administration, and  a Wellness Coordinator manages the wellness/evidence-based workshops, and markets, enrolls, and oversees workshop data management. Community health workers serve as liaisons between communities and health care agencies, provide evidence-based programming to community residents and caregivers, enhance community residents' ability to effectively communicate with health care providers, provide culturally and linguistically appropriate health education and prevention, advocate for individual and community health, and work closely with Senior LinkAge Line to provide referral and coordination.