The Faith & Diabetes initiative

Engages diverse communities of faith to address diabetes through education, prevention, and self-management programs.

Faith & Diabetes is part of Cities Changing Diabetes, a global initiative which helps communities understand their unique set of diabetes challenges, identify areas and populations at greatest risk, and design targeted interventions that can put change in motion.

Led by the Institute for Spirituality and Health at Texas Medical Center with support from other stakeholders involved in Cities Changing Diabetes - Houston, the Faith and Diabetes Initiative seeks to empower diverse communities of faith in Greater Houston to better understand and address diabetes awareness, prevention, and management with special attention to religious belief, practice, and community life. We believe that faith and health are inextricably linked, and that communities of faith have a key role to play in terms of making Houston a healthier place to live, work, worship and play.

Congregational Health Leadership Program

The Congregational Health Leadership Training includes six three-hour group-learning seminars. The training features 18 hours of class-time, where participants will hear from experts in their respective fields, engage in collaborative, experiential learning, discuss the issues most pressing to them, and vision the future of their respective health and wellness initiatives.

The evidence-based curriculum, which was created by a multi-sector, stakeholder-driven work group features six themes:

CORE Initiative and the Institute for Spirituality and Health are responsible for conducting the training, each providing trainers with expert knowledge and experience in working with faith and community-based organizations.

The training is based on a DSMES curriculum developed and continuously updated by Gateway Community Health Center in Laredo and is recognized by the American Diabetes Association for meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support.

According to the American Diabetes Association, The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, DSMES has been demonstrated to be a cost-effective solution to reduce hospital admissions and readmissions, and lifetime healthcare costs related to a lower risk for complications. Patients living with diabetes who participate in DSMES see a positive effect on clinical, psychosocial, and behavioral aspects of diabetes, as well as an improved quality of life, enhanced self-efficacy, and empowerment.

To date over 75 leaders from Christian, Muslim, and Hindu communities have completed the training.

Diabetes Classes in Your Community

If you are interested in getting trained to facilitate diabetes education in your community or host a program, please visit for updated information

Cities Changing Diabetes Faith & Diabetes Initiative

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Institute of Spirituality & Health's VP Stuart Nelson on Faith and Diabetes

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Faith & Diabetes on myDiabetesHQ Live!

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