The Special Diabetes Program for Indians Diabetes Prevention Demonstration Project at Sonoma County Indian Health Project in Santa Rosa, California, is situated in an urban setting that serves seven rural reservation tribes. The program staff include a project coordinator, data coordinator, diabetes educator, lifestyle counselor, and recruiter.
In the After-Core maintenance program following completion of the DPP, staff members serve as facilitators and allow the participants to determine, or “take charge”, of how they would like to reinforce what they have learned. For example, one group decided to create their own calendar of events with pictures of the participants, meeting times (with topics of their choice), and quotes from DPP materials. The program also holds monthly classes and bi-weekly exercise classes for participants. The After-Core program has a 40–50% participation rate, with a 20–30% participation rate for the exercise program.
The Healthy Traditions Garden incorporates healthy cultural food, exercise, and traditional themes to help program participants achieve a healthier lifestyle. This one-half acre garden, located 10 miles north of the clinic, hosts several gardening workshops each year covering such topics as garlic harvesting and growing the fresh organic strawberries used in many local tribal festivals. In addition, After-Core program events are held each summer to emphasize the Native connection to the soil and to allow participants to sample traditionally grown organic produce, such as Indian potatoes and wild strawberries, which are no longer widely available due to loss of ancient tribal lands.
- Collaboration with the clinic-based diabetes program provides crossover in department resources and allows for assistance from the clinic's qualified health professionals who serve as lifestyle coaches and instructors in the program. Clinic staff also help with community health screenings.
- Community support and high attendance at community events has also been a key element of success. For example, the program holds special presentations and health screenings for most of the tribal members during their annual cultural events. The program also conducts less intensive health screenings at large-scale community-based events, such as the Annual Youth Olympics, the Just Move It campaign, and a 12-week youth fitness program.
- Guest instructors of local and national fame teach components of the DPP Lifestyle Balance Program curriculum.