Penn State Extension is part of a multi-state team that has received national recognition for the Dining with Diabetes educational program.

Extension educators from Penn State, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, West Virginia University and the University of Wyoming shared the 2015 Jeanne M. Priester Award in the Individual/Family category, which was presented at the recent National Health Outreach Conference in Atlanta.

The award honors extension programs that positively impact the health of people across the United States and that are providing leadership to expand Extension's capacity to effectively implement health programs. It is named for Jeanne M. Priester, who was a leader in advancing health education within the Cooperative Extension System during her tenure at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dining with Diabetes is an evidenced-based program that teaches people with or at risk for diabetes and their families how to self-manage the disease through nutrition, physical activity and behavior modification. Individuals also learn about critical biomarker numbers and how to improve their results.

According to the state Department of Health, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in Pennsylvania in 2010. An estimated nine percent of Pennsylvanians, or about 900,000, have been told by a doctor they have diabetes, and an additional 25 percent have diabetes but have not been diagnosed. The Health Department reports that diabetes accounted for $948 million in hospital care costs in Pennsylvania in 2010.

Led by extension educators, the Dining with Diabetes program is offered in more than 40 counties in Pennsylvania. More information about the program, including a list of class locations, is available online at http://extension.psu.edu/health/diabetes.