For Dee Meissner, attending the monthly Fairview Diabetes Support Group has been about more than receiving helpful information for managing her diabetes.

“It’s about fellowship,” she says. “I wanted to meet others who were going through the same problems as me.”

For almost 10 years, Fairview has offered these diabetes support groups. The groups aim to provide ongoing diabetes education and support to those managing an often challenging, chronic disease.

“We welcome participants in a supportive and friendly environment,” says Anna Henry, MPH, RD, LD, CDE, lead diabetes education specialist. “It’s a place to receive free education regarding a complex disease, as well as a place to meet others who are focused on managing diabetes.”

Each session includes an educational component, such as eating healthy, managing stress, travelling safely and tips to stay active, and time for the group to discuss the topic at hand as well as share their own experiences.

“The groups give me an opportunity to connect with patients on a personal level and support them with up-to-date information,” says Debbie Elsen, RN, CDE, diabetes education specialist. “It provides a place where patients can find support and information on topics of interest when they feel they need it in-between provider or educator visits.”

Dee says all of those lessons have helped her feel in charge of her own health.

“I wanted to get better control of my diabetes to have a longer, more active life,” she says. “It’s great to get encouragement from the leaders and others in class, and I’ve learned that I’m not alone in this.”

Meeting our patients where they’re at is just one way we are driving a healthier future. Learn more about Fairview’s free, monthly diabetes support groups.