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Diabetes Education and Self-Management Support at the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence


Diabetes Education Topics Include:

  • Healthy nutrition
  • Insulin pumps & continuous glucose monitors (CGM)
  • Diabetes medication
  • Preventing acute & chronic complications
  • Physical activity  

Our certified diabetes care and education specialists (CDCES) have provided diabetes education to nearly 4,000 unique patients during 2023 at Worcester’s UMass Memorial Medical Center, UMass Memorial Children’s Hospital, Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster, and Tri-River Family Health Center in Uxbridge. Both individual and group classes are offered and data shows these patients achieved an average 1.7% reduction in A1c this past year!

Benefits a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Diabetes education has been shown to lower A1C and blood glucose similar to medication but without side effects. As “life happens” and circumstances change, a CDCES is available to help create a plan to successfully self-manage your diabetes. They’ll assist with situational problem solving and offer emotional support.

Insurance Coverage for Diabetes Education

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover up to 10 hours of diabetes education the first year of diagnosis. Medicare also pays for two hours of annual follow-up visits. Commercial insurance offers similar benefits. Ask your insurance company about your specific coverage.

Getting Started

Anyone newly diagnosed with diabetes or who has never received diabetes education should take advantage of our Diabetes 101 workshop. For best results, combine group workshops and individual sessions with a CDCES, dietitian and/or nutritionist. Your primary care physician or diabetes care team can provide a referral or more information. The initial assessment will determine which areas to focus on when developing your individual diabetes self-management success plan.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES) recommend at least 10 hours of diabetes education. More than half of people diagnosed with diabetes have not taken advantage of diabetes education.

An initial assessment by a CDCES will concentrate on seven self-care behaviors essential for improved health. Healthy eatingphysical activityglucose monitoring, medication, problem-solving/healthy coping & reducing risk of complications. A personalized plan will provide resources & tools to self-manage diabetes based you lifestyle.


Many people think they'll have a “one & done” appointment with a CDCES but it's an ongoing relationship. As “life happens” and circumstances change, your CDCES is available to help you create a plan for situational problem solving.

Mapping Your Plan to Better Blood Glucose Control 

Diabetes education workshops provide information, motivation and support.  Our Conversation Maps® cover the important aspects of daily life with diabetes.

Contact us for details or to get started 

Ask your care team for a referral. For more information: or (508) 334-3206

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”.