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Chuuk Women's Council Diabetes Prevention Program

Summary 
  • Need: A way to improve health of women in Chuuk, one of 4 states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia.
  • Intervention: The Chuuk Women's Council offers a program that educates and trains women to prevent and manage diabetes, and adopt healthy lifestyles.
  • Results: The program's goal of gaining 30 participants in its second year has been exceeded. Participants have lost weight, been referred to needed medical services, and are training others in diabetes education.

Description

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a group of islands located in the western Pacific Ocean. The latest report from the World Health Organization indicates that the prevalence of diabetes has risen the past few decades. A total of 18% of the population has been diagnosed with the non-communicable disease. Type 2 diabetes has become the second leading cause of death in Chuuk, one of the 4 FSM states.

CWC Logo

The Chuuk Women's Council (CWC) was founded in 1984 by a committee of women. It now serves as an umbrella organization, streaming communication and resources for 64 organizations throughout the state. The Council promotes women's leadership to its 1,000 members through programming in health, education, environmental conservation, and the preservation of Chuukese tradition.

CWC has become a host site for the Pacific Islander Diabetes Prevention Program, a national initiative that helps Pacific Islanders adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent type 2 diabetes by applying programs recognized by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

CWC operates the program under the name Coaching Healthy Islander Program (CHIP) and partners with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organization (AAPCHO) to promote it throughout FSM. The Coaching Healthy Islander Program received a 2017-2021 CDC grant that support its operation.

Services offered

CWC offers a wide range of health services, all of them related to CWC's diabetes initiatives in some way. Below are services specific to diabetes prevention and management:

CWC Core Staff
CWC project staff
  • Train the Trainer: Diabetes education teaches women how to conduct prevention and educational classes in their own villages and schools. Topics covered include diabetes and non-communicable disease prevention, the importance of regular doctor visits, and the risks of tobacco use. Trainers also arrange activities for attendees to promote healthy lifestyles in their communities.
  • Classes: CWC hosts classes for CHIP participants with 22 modules on healthy lifestyle adoption and diabetes prevention and management.
  • Coaches: Lifestyle Coaches work with program participants to help them set and meet their weight and health goals.
  • Customizable Tools: CWC customizes educational tools through the CHIP program.
  • Events: CWC coordinates events on World Diabetes Day (Nov. 14th). In 2017, CWC hosted a one stop Healthy Islander Fair in collaboration with Chuuk Health Services. Over 200 people participated in demonstrations, screenings, and education sessions. In 2019, CWC put on a similar event at their headquarters. Thirty-nine out of the 50 attendees were found to be overweight or obese, and 20 tested positive for risk of prediabetes.

Results

At the start of its second year, the program's goal was to enroll 30 participants who are at high risk of developing prediabetes and help participants complete their training and meet their fitness and nutritional goals. Results so far include:

  • CWC initially recruited 36 participants. After some dropped out, a total of 31 remain, meeting the program's goal for the second year.
  • 11 participants were referred to a clinic for HbA1c testing. Referrals are continually being made by Lifestyle Coaches to specialty treatment services.
  • 5 participants met their weight loss goal during the first 6 months of the program's second year.
  • CWC trained 44 school principals and teachers who are continuing diabetes education in their schools.

The RHIhub Rural Monitor article Chuuk Women's Council Empowers Micronesian Women to be Healthcare Leaders talks about CWC's advocacy for Chuukese women in healthcare leadership.

Chuuk Women's Council World Diabetes Day
Diabetes International Day

Challenges

The following are some programming and member challenges:

  • Funding: Securing funding for utilities (power) and communications (internet and phone) and staff has been difficult. Until 2016, those working for CWC were volunteers. 2016 marked the first year CWC was able to pay full-time accounting and project staff.
  • Grant Operations: In the Federal State of Micronesia, there are no private insurance companies to supplement funding for project participants. Attempting to fit a CDC model has been difficult and has required a more flexible grant payment structure.
  • Drop Outs and Schedule Conflicts: Personal and health conflicts prevented some members from fulfilling their courses and attending program activities. Some had to drop out of the diabetes courses because of lack of attendance. Others were not able to get their referral forms from the clinic completed on time.
  • Geographical location: CWC and program participants live on 41 municipalities that make up Chuuk State, FSM. Traveling to meetings and programs can be difficult to coordinate, and CWC staff are limited in their transportation means to meet outer island participants.
  • Cost of Healthy Food: Because of high import costs, healthy food for Chuukese residents is expensive. This makes it difficult for some to regularly incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet.

Replication

  • Leadership: Having dedicated, respected women serving as president of the organization has been a key factor in CWC's successful programs. Appointing a leader with great vision, the ability to connect with other people and organizations, and recruitment skills are essential.
  • Collaborative Work: This project has been the most successful through the work of partnerships among CWC staff, volunteers, government agencies, and community members.
  • Work Commitment: Commitment was the key to program building and participant involvement. Lifestyle Coaches have an influential hand in motivated participants to stay in the programs. Incentives help participants maintain the energy and motivation among participants.
  • Coaching Strategies: Applying more than 1 coaching approach helped both the coaches and the participants finish each class. More training on report writing is highly recommended for lifestyle coaches.

Contact Information

Christina "Kiki" Stinnett, President
Chuuk Women's Council
619.330.5263
kikistinnettcwc@gmail.com

Topics
Diabetes
Leadership
Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention
Women

States served
Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific Territories, Commonwealth, and Freely Associated States

Date added
October 31, 2016

Date updated or reviewed
December 27, 2019

Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2019. Chuuk Women's Council Diabetes Prevention Program [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/931 [Accessed 25 May 2022]


Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.