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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday April 15th 2024

A-Pod CHAT: Advancing Opportunities through a Partnership of Diabetics

When A Partnership Of Diabetics (A-POD) was first designed and implemented, our goal was simply to create a community-based program for advancing the skills of persons with diabetes to become better self-managers of their condition. We started with POD-Tensives, a daylong workshop to introduce our strategies to participants and then sponsored weekly Meet-ups where participants could share the “mile-markers” on their journey toward better health and wellness. Meet-ups became and still are the key ingredient in A-POD”'s program because it”'s the time that participants can actually share their progress or problems with others with similar challenges.

Meet-ups are more than a “support group” because we also track participant”'s numbers to demonstrate that with the additional focus on diabetes and learning new and better tools to manage our conditions, we improve! In a third party evaluation conducted by a graduate student from the University of Minnesota”'s School of Public Health we found that more than 90% of our participants have improved, using the same statewide criteria used by all Minnesota clinics and hospitals. A-POD has surpassed any other institution”'s success rate by more than 25 percentage points, yet at a fraction of the cost that other programs require.

In late 2011, A-POD began a Somali elder women”'s initiative that meets each Tuesday afternoon. This group also has been demonstrating considerable improvements in their numbers despite the fact that none speak English or read or write any language. Using only oral methods of communicating has provided a sufficient basis for improvement. This suggests that a key ingredients of chronic disease management should involve face-to-face sessions that give each person time to listen, respond, act and review one”'s personal strategies. The fact that we include an English lesson in each Meet-up has surely promoted added interest and enabled joyful participation while helping maintain weekly attendance.

On the last day of May, A-POD took over the operation of a monthly diabetes breakfast that has been operated for the past eight years by the Native American Community Clinic (NACC). With Running Wolf Fitness Center now housed at the Phillips Community Center (2323 Eleventh Avenue South, Minneapolis) along with A-POD”'s offices, it was a reasonable idea to move the monthly healthy-eating diabetic breakfast from the Minneapolis American Indian Center to the Phillips Community Center”'s dining room. The partnership with NACC continues with this breakfast. More than fifty people attended the first one and more are expected as the word gets out.

In the future, funding permitting, we hope to add a Spanish-speaking diabetes breakfast or brunch and a Somali supper supporting diabetics in their culture. In the short term, we are also exploring with the Waite House, a multilingual translation system to enable all people to come together regardless of language, but we also hope to do a more extensive effort within each cultural group as well.

A-POD is very grateful for initial and secondary funding by Allina Health for the past two years. This year, A-POD was also funded in part by Novo Nordisk, a Danish manufacturer of insulin. Pending further funding, A-POD will expand to encompass additional opportunities as they arise and develop effective activities to meet the challenges that diabetes presents.

CHAT Team Members: Robert and Sharon Albee, Lanaya Baker, Dick Brooks, Jennifer Frisbee, Diane Greve, Tim Hopkins, Jake Jacobi, Doug Limon, Anita Martinez, Jeanne Moore, Pamela North, Pat Paul, Mary Rhatigan, Margaret Sylte, Bob Rick, Deb Johnson Tate, Bridget Tierney, Shirley Heyer, Patricia Van Ert, and Rita Johnson

Rose”'s Rice and Beans- HAITIAN STYLE!

Serves 6 Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours


***1 (8 ounce) package of dry kidney beans 1 tablespoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 bulb shallot, minced ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (or whole)

3 cloves of garlic, minced 3 sprigs fresh Italian parsley

1 cup uncooked yellow rice or long grain white rice 3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon adobo seasoning (optional) 1 scotch bonnet chile pepper

***In Haiti, poisrouge beans are used. These beans are available in NYC and Miami in the US. Red beans available in Mexican grocery stores are often used, too.


1. Place beans in a large pot, and cover with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 1 and ½ hours, or until tender. Drain, reserving liquid.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté shallot and garlic until fragrant. Stir in cooked beans and cook for 2 minutes. Measure reserved liquid, and add water to equal 5 cups; stir into skillet. Stir in the uncooked rice. Season with adobo seasoning, salt, pepper, and cloves. Either make a small bouquet or place sprigs of parsley and thyme, and scotch bonnet pepper on top, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove thyme, parsley, and scotch bonnet pepper to serve.

Calling all African and African-American women! Come and join Rose in


Call the Cultural Wellness Center 


or email

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