Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) is working to address health challenges, health literacy and gaps in disease management. Since 2017, BCBSNM has collaborated with Albertsons Market stores to provide Managing Your Diabetes classes to help BCBSNM members make healthy choices in the supermarket and in their daily lives. The no-charge classes are led by a local registered dietitian and an in-store pharmacist. The dietitian conducts a tour of the supermarket and shows participants firsthand how to choose healthy foods, read food labels, and implement healthy strategies in their eating habits.
NATALIE FURST: So today we are doing a diabetes educational tour and it goes throughout the grocery store it’s a walking tour. It’s a fabulous way to engage with patients and clients. In an environment where they are buying food. It’s a familiar environment everyone goes to the grocery store and they are able to get a fresh perspective on foods that they are buying. It’s a great opportunity for folks who are struggling to find a healthier choice. We can actually walk down the aisles and look at thing of their choosing and maybe look at the other options to see if there is something healthier. When it comes to diabetes, food is more than 50 percent of the battle.
ALICIA CHAVEZ: classes are for all of our Blue Cross and Blue Shield members and it is an exclusive Blue Cross and Blue Shield program. Anybody who would like to attend may attend. The program is very unique that it brings them into the community, so they meet their local pharmacist that they all have as a resource for going forward for whatever questions they have. They will also meet their local registered dietician and helps with health equity, because we are in the community where our members live.
NATALIE FURST There is a lot of confusion in a grocery store about what is an actual healthier item and how do I identify that. That is one of the things that this tour tries to work toward kind of breaking down these barriers and giving them tools and stragedies so they can go out there and be confident and make better choices and know that they are actually making a better choice.
GARY ROGERS: I have attended a class similar to this before, this brought back the things that I need to be paying more attention to.
VIVIAN RICHARDS: I think I am always looking for ways to improve my health especially with diabetes. You think that is getting easier it isn’t. It is getting harder and it seems that you are constantly about what it is you are eating, how much to eat, because it is really complicated matter. The more that I can learn is useful.
MAURICE SCHAUFFERT: The class is important because it puts the power in the hands of the patient, because they have now the knowledge and literacy to make descisions that are going to impact the course of their disease and their diabetic state.
The more that we can provide around the pharmacy and provide patients for more resources that are happening more frequently, the easier it is to get the information into the hands of the patients so that they can make behavior changes.
We couldn’t do this without Blue Cross and Blue Shield they are providing the structure, the outline, the patient outreach. Blue Cross and Blue Shield is driving this forward by allowing us to step out pharmacy and engage with customers and invite dietitians to come and give their expertise and share that with people in the community.
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