Cities Changing Diabetes weekly update

This is our weekly update from the CCD Director, Steffan Nielsen

"I have really looked forward to this update. The majority of the stories this week has come from you out there in the world. I really appreciate this. It shows progress and momentum so please continue to share your stories. Each week I receive lots of positive comments so I know the updates are appreciated. There are many stories this week so let’s get started."

CCD Houston Rolls Out Major Peer Support Initiative

Cities Changing Diabetes Houston is continuing its efforts to improve the lives of people living with or at high risk for developing diabetes. Peer support is an opportunity for persons with diabetes to connect with others who are experiencing similar life experiences related to living with a chronic illness like diabetes. The Peer Support Action Work Group in Houston launched a virtual Facebook-based peer support group in November 2017 and an in-person peer support program that started meeting monthly in January of this year.

To bolster current interest among health systems and nonprofits to implement peer support programs in their organizations, the Action Work Group brought in Dr. Ed Fisher with Peers for Progress at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to conduct three workshops for peer supporters and program administrators this year.  The first cohort with 23 participants kicked off a two-day training program on March 22.  As the participants go home to their organizations to plan program implementation in their communities, the Action Work Group will keep the group together through guidance and technical assistance meetings. Thanks a lot Karin, Marisa and Klaus for sharing this story. 

CCD Roma Passport presented at the Roma City Hall

Wednesday this week the "Passport Roma City for the walk and of the health" at the Roma City Hall. The Health Mayor of Rome Daniele Frongia introduced the importance of the "Passport" for the Roma Metropolitan area.

The Health Mayor underlined that “Rome is the first "Walking City" on the European level, a city where you can find spaces for walking with the development of 50 suggested routes for sport and health practice that will touch the over 320 km of the metropolitan area.” The suggested different routes in the passport have been chosen both thinking of the citizens and their daily use and of the tourists involved in visiting the city. This is a great opportunity for both the citizens of Rome but also for tourists to explore Rome’s symbolic places, but also to discover lesser-known parts with the same charm and beauty, including naturalistic, environmental or more decidedly sporty routes. The "Passport of Rome City for Walking and Health" is not only a technical tool, but is also exceptional in the breadth of the documentation contained, for the information it offers and thus to contribute to a different and healthier face of the city and the its metropolitan territory, both in the areas with the greatest tourism impact and in the suburbs. Through the passport we tried to give a different vision of the city from its usual motorized use: a metropolis that presents many opportunities to be experienced on foot.

The “Passport” is closely linked to the Plogging project, which is a new way of doing sports and helping the environment. The inspiration comes from Sweden, where the word plogging derives from the Swedish word Plocka upp, which literally means to picking up together with the word jogging. So just during your healthy ride take the waste and insert them in the bag tied at the waist, and then throw them out once back home. Cities Changing Diabetes also promotes this Plogging Project in Rome. Thanks Federico for sharing this great story about promoting walking in both an environmentally friendly way and also in a way promoting tourism in Rome. I’m sure many cities could be inspired from this initiative.

Online training offer in the Peer Support Network

The peer support knowledge network that was launched at the summit in October is hosting its first event – a teleconference on 4 April 17-18 CET dedicated to the theme of Peer Support Training Design and Practice.

The one-hour event will let leaders and practitioners share their insights on designing and delivering trainings for peer supporters. To set the scene, project managers from Vancouver, Houston and Copenhagen present  their strategies for developing training materials, their experiences implementing the training program, and lessons learned.

The peer support network is driven in collaboration with Peers for Progress. You can read more about the network here.

Berkeley student visiting Novo Nordisk

Wednesday this week we had visitors from Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. It was a group of 20 MBA students and they were in Denmark to study sustainability. Our Social Media Manager Scott Dille presented Novo Nordisk and our approach to sustainability and afterwards I presented Cities Changing Diabetes as a concrete case for how we’re doing it. I really like presenting to students. They’re always eager and passionate and their minds are not set so it always ends up in good discussions. It’s also great to get ideas on how to go in new directions. This is an easy way to engage with students in each of our cities out there. 

CCD Rome submitting abstract to EASD

A couple of weeks ago I wrote in one of my updates that we have been asked to participate in a session at the EASD conference in Berlin in October. Last week Federico informed me that the CCD group in Italy has submitted an abstract with the title Urban diabetes: the case of the metropolitan area of Rome. It’s really great to see the local work in Rome being submitted to EASD. I encourage you all to submit abstracts based on your work to both local and international conferences. 

Interesting reads from the week

Each week I receive a number of interesting articles that has direct or indirect connection to CCD. I would like to test a new segment in these updates where I share some of the interesting reads. The first one is a New York Times article with the headline In Nafta Talks, U.S. Tries to Limit Junk Food Warning Labels. Our academic lead in Mexico City Dr. Simón Barquera is quoted in this article. I think it’s an interesting article as it looks at the link between trade, food and obesity. It shows that the issue with health in cities is much more complex as it can seem from the outside and it also shows why the work we’re doing in partnerships around the world is so important. 

The second one I received today from Marisa in that US that Close Concerns published a beautiful story about Cities Changing Diabetes – Houston’s “Faith & Diabetes” program. Two Close Concerns journalists attended the “graduation” event last month, which celebrated the first cohort of participants becoming certified to deliver the evidence-based program to their own faith communities. You can read the article here

Asha George