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     Endocrinology's Grassroots Success
    A Model for Successful Community Engagement

    Inspired by a patient struggling with coming to terms with his diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes, Judy Podoll, APNP in the Division of Endocrinology, took it upon herself to establish what is now a successful diabetes support group entering its second year.

    The mission of the group is to educate and support individuals with diabetes. They convene monthly to provide a safe haven to process, troubleshoot, share ideas, and help one another lead successful and healthy lives while learning to accept their diagnosis of diabetic. June marks the groups 2nd Anniversary.

    Although Ms. Podoll is the catalyst of this initiative, she wastes no time acknowledging the efforts of all who have helped her along the way, “this support group would not have been possible without the support of many people.” Dr. Irene O’Shaughnessy, Endocrinology’s Interim Division Chief, not only gave her blessing to this effort, but has also volunteered her time by speaking to the members. Other Volunteers include:

    Irene O’Shaughnessy, MD Interim Division Chief, Division of Endocrinology
    Shashi Saxena, Dietician, CDE
    Jessica Bevans, Administrative Coordinator, Division of Endocrinology and Geriatric
    Gail Shayhorn, RN
    Deborah Gillard, Pharmacist
    Deborah Wessberg, RN, CDE
    Patricia Puestow, Dietician, CTE
    Chris-Ann Lauria, NP
    Diane Arnold, MA

    Group members work with staff volunteers to set the agenda of each meeting. All meetings are interactive and strike a balance of education and support. Cross-dialog is key amongst those in attendance. Members also are responsible for the establishment of group guidelines. Ms. Podoll comments that, “having our members take ownership of the facilitation of group norms and topics is an example of how we’ve been able to sustain our efforts.” Examples of meeting agendas include a speaker’s series, an “ask the pharmacist” session, field trips to local grocery stores to learn how to change shopping habits and even a luau with each menu item prepared in a diabetic-friendly manner. Most recently, the May meeting welcomed Bob Hanisch, MA, CDE, CSCS who spoke to the group about how exercise positively affects diabetes.

    Judy is also quick to mention that organizational support from Froedtert Hospital, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Roundy’s Food and FMLH Volunteers also contributes to the success of the group through the donation of space and food.

    The group is open for all, including your patients, regardless of insurance status, who have diabetes as well as family members seeking advice on how to help loved ones better manage their disease.

    You can help maintain the Diabetes Support Group’s viability. If you would like to volunteer your time, energy and expertise, please contact Judy Podoll, APNP @ 414.955.6988 or


    Diabetes Support Group
    LOCATION: Wisconsin Athletic Club, Community Conference Room 1
    8700 Watertown Plank Road
    ** Use the entrance on the North side of the building labeled: “Froedtert Community Conference Room”
    TIME: 6:30 pm – 7:30pm
    CONTACT: Judy Podoll, APNP
    (414) 955-6988

    Open to all, including your patients, regardless of insurance status,
    who have diabetes free of charge

    2010 Remaining Schedule
    June 10 October 14
    September 9 November 11

    Article written by Edward Minter, MBA, Internal Consulting Team