At GNE, our mission is to improve the health of vulnerable populations worldwide through nutrition. We are committed to providing practical, evidence-based, accessible, and relevant educational materials. In this newsletter, we'll take you on a journey through our latest initiatives, from the heartwarming "Sweet Talk/Conversación Dulce" project to our impactful Guatemala trips and the Geary Street Clinic. Join us as we share our recent accomplishments and upcoming endeavors.

      Sweet Talk/Conversación Dulce

  • Tailored for Low Health Literacy Adults: We recognize the significance of ensuring that health education is accessible to everyone. 'Sweet Talk/Conversación Dulce' is meticulously tailored for individuals with low health literacy. It begins by explaining fundamental concepts like carbohydrates and their impact on blood sugar, ensuring that every individual can embark on the path to improved health without being left behind.

  • The Diabetes Plate Game: One of the highlights of this program is the Diabetes Plate Game, a hands-on learning tool that visually illustrates the principles of a balanced diet for diabetics. This game simplifies complex dietary concepts, making them easy to understand and apply in daily life.

  • App-Based Learning Module: To further enhance the learning experience, we've developed an app-based module that participants can access from provided tablets. This tool serves as a valuable resource, providing ongoing support and guidance for those managing diabetes.

'Coach the Coach' Model: At the heart of 'Sweet Talk/Conversación Dulce' is the 'coach the coach' model. Experienced diabetes coaches guide groups of 4-10 participants, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to expand outreach within their communities. This mentorship approach empowers individuals to become ambassadors of good health, creating a ripple effect of positive change.

  • Incorporating "Sweet Talk" / "Conversación Dulce": During these trips, we integrated our 'Sweet Talk/Conversación Dulce' program into our activities, spreading the message of diabetes education and empowerment. This initiative has been warmly received by the communities we serve, and its impact continues to grow.

  • Official Partnership with Faith in Practice (FIP): In 2021, we established an official partnership with Faith in Practice (FIP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing medical and surgical care to the underserved in Guatemala. This collaboration has allowed us to expand our reach and make a more significant difference in the lives of Guatemalan communities.

  • Training Local Guatemalan Diabetes Coaches: In 2022, we took a significant step by training five new local Guatemalan Diabetes Coaches. These coaches are now instrumental in spreading diabetes education within their communities. Their dedication and enthusiasm have been truly inspiring.

  • Growing Team of Diabetes Coaches: We are thrilled to see 25 participants sign up to become diabetes coaches for future endeavors, including our planned trip in 2024. This growing team of coaches ensures that the impact of our work in Guatemala continues to expand and thrive.

Our trips to Guatemala have helped to empower communities to take control of their health. 'Sweet Talk/Conversación Dulce' and our partnerships have made a significant difference, and we are excited about the continued growth of our mission in Guatemala. Stay tuned through our Facebook or Instagram for more inspiring stories and updates from our work in this vibrant country.

  • Educational Grant: We are immensely grateful for the generous grant provided by IHN-CCO (InterCommunity Health Network Coordinate Care Organization), which has allowed us to make a significant impact. IHN-CCO coordinates services to members of the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) and regional health services throughout Oregon, and has provided funding to bring “Sweet Talk/ Conversación Dulce' to the Geary Street Clinic located in Albany Oregon.  

  • July 2023 Initiative: GNE initiated a trial educational program at Geary Street Clinic which began July 2023. This program has successfully enrolled 55 participants so far, empowering them with essential knowledge and skills to manage their health, particularly in the context of diabetes.

We want to express our deep appreciation to IHN-CCO for their support and collaboration. We hope and anticipate continued funding throughout 2024, which will enable us to sustain and expand our educational services at the Geary Street Clinic. This partnership exemplifies the power of collective efforts, where GNE's expertise in nutrition education, Geary Street’s healthcare services and IHN-CCO's commitment to improving healthcare services come together for the benefit of our local community.

One standout achievement is the refinement of our Diabetes Education Program, known as 'Sweet Talk/Conversacion Dulce.' This engaging 3-hour class, led by community volunteers, has evolved to be both fun and interactive, delivering practical and relevant information to our adult learners. Notably, we've begun implementing 'Sweet Talk/Conversacion Dulce' at SHS's Geary Street Clinic in Albany, and our Faith in Practice partners in Guatemala have also adopted this successful model. We've trained five new coaches, and we're excited to announce that in May 2024, we're planning to train 25 more coaches in Guatemala, representing several different organizations.

Looking ahead to 2024, we have exciting plans for new teaching modules. Self-Management of Hypertension and Skin Care for Wheelchair Users are currently our top priorities, but we also hope to introduce modules focused on mental health in the near future.

Furthermore, we're thrilled to announce the launch of our brand new GNE website. We encourage you to visit and explore the site to discover opportunities to volunteer or engage with the GNE community.

We want to emphasize that your continued support is instrumental to GNE's ongoing success. Your interest and involvement mean the world to us. Thank you for being a part of our journey!

                   -Marie Long


PO Box 3291 Albany, OR 97321-0710