By: LT Brian Valdez MA, RD, CDCES, ACE-CPT
A familiar face has returned to help with one of OKCIC’s newest programs. The SHINE program stands for Strengthening Homelife through Improving Nutrition and Exercise. What sets SHINE apart from other health classes like STAR and BRAID is that SHINE program patients attend classes with their family or household members.
SHINE is a 12-week program focusing on educating patients and their families on diabetes management. The program focuses on living better through food education and physical activity. A variety of health professionals within OKCIC are happy to be a part of the program, including certified personal trainers, registered dietitians, and certified diabetes care and education specialists.
Nurturing a robust family-centered support system is vital for the SHINE program. Patients are asked to bring a household member to every class. This household member can be anyone who is over the age of 12.
This three-month program provides a Freestyle Libre 2 continuous glucose monitor to the patient for the length of the program. This incredible device removes the need to use finger-sticks to test blood glucose. A patient can see their blood sugars instantaneously by using their smartphone or reader. Patients also receive educational tools related to class sessions, such as food scales, exercise bands, smartwatches, yoga mats and more.
LT Brian Valdez manages the program, along with a skilled HPDP dietitian and personal trainer staff. In December 2022, Valdez brought his diverse diabetes education experience back to OKCIC. LT Valdez was the first ever STAR Cooking chef back in 2011. He joined the United States Public Health Service in 2015 and since then has served at Phoenix Indian Medical Center and Wewoka Indian Health Center. He expanded his education to earn his Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) title. LT Valez is excited to be working with OKCIC’s Native patients to help them live the healthiest lives possible.