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Have you voted in the Healthy Living Innovation Awards?

The clock is ticking on the deadline to cast your vote in the 2011 Healthy Living Innovation Awards. As a quick reminder, Diabetes Coaches Class, a Stanford-developed program aimed at empowering teens to help curb the growing problem of diabetes in the United States, has been selected as a finalist.

The program trains high-school students to become diabetes self-management coaches for friends and family members and is the only California-based finalist in the national competition. Winning the competition is crucial to organizers' goal to expand the program to schools across the country, says Nancy Morioka-Douglas, MD, who spearheaded Diabetes Coaches Class:

In this era of increasing cutbacks for health and education, my vision was to develop an inexpensive, sustainable model to provide school-based health education to empower high school youth and increase community capacity to reduce diabetes rates.

Compared to the other finalists, who have large-scale programs requiring infrastructure and funding to continue, our project was designed to run on a lean budget. Costs, staffing needs and materials have been kept to a minimum so the program could be implemented nationally as a resource for teams of public high schools working together with community health agencies or health professional training programs.

The recognition we would gain through winning this competition will provide a national platform from which to spread this model. As a shoestring operation, there is simply no other way that we could do this.

Voting for the 2011 Healthy Living Innovation Award ends on Tuesday, May 31. You can cast your vote for Diabetes Coaches here.

Previously: Stanford Diabetes Coaches Class selected as 2011 Healthy Living Innovation Awards finalist and Diabetes prevention program trains youth in chronic disease self-management

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