Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Program

Program Overview

A large part of successfully managing your diabetes and preventing complications is skilled self-care. Learning how to self-manage your diabetes is an important part of your diabetes care.

The Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) program at Torrance Memorial's Outpatient Specialty Center, is a comprehensive educational program designed to provide patients with diabetes, the essential knowledge and support they need to achieve better glucose control and help prevent complications.

Our DSMES program is certified by the American Diabetes Association and staffed by Certified Diabetes Educators who are either Registered Nurses or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

We provide a comfortable, interactive environment where patients learn self-care skills and lifestyle modification techniques. Our program's classes supports patients with all types of diabetes who are either newly diagnosed or have a longer history of diabetes.

The mission of our program is to:

  • Empower patients with diabetes with self-management skills
  • Encourage self-care behaviors to prevent diabetes complications
  • Promote overall health and well-being to improve quality of life

Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Classes

Our team of expertly trained diabetes educators works closely with patients and their physicians to develop an individualized self-care program based on their medical history and individualized goals. The program utilizes the latest research and training recommendations from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to empower patients to improve their short and long-term outcomes.

Our program outcomes include participant self-identified improved self-care skills through improved meal planning, increased physical activity, weight loss and a statistically significant average decrease in their A1C level, averaging 1.6% (2015-2016 survey data). This equals an average blood glucose decrease of over 40 points.

Our program consists of an individualized consultation for each patient first, followed by a series of four small group classes. Individual appointments can be arranged for patients that may have special needs such as, but not limited to, being hearing impaired.

After completing our program, participants receive a free 1-week gym membership at the Torrance Memorial Fitness Center (same location as the diabetes classes) for a one-on-one consultation with our Cardiac Rehab Exercise Physiologist. Additionally, graduates of our program are encouraged to attend the Diabetes Support Group to help with maintaining their lifestyle changes.

The self-care behaviors you'll develop in our DSMES classes will help you successfully manage your diabetes and prevent or reduce the severity of diabetes complications.

Our classes cover the following topics:

  • Physiology of diabetes
  • Blood glucose monitoring, pattern identification and management
  • Understanding your medications and medication management
  • Carbohydrate counting
  • Reading food labels
  • Meal planning and dining out
  • Risk reduction of short and long-term complications
  • Prevention and treatment of high and low blood glucose levels
  • Exercise guidelines
  • Healthy coping skills

Medical Nutrition Therapy

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is provided by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. MNT is a therapeutic approach to managing medical conditions and symptoms through proper diet and nutrition. During your one-on-one consultation with a dietitian, your individual nutritional needs will be addressed, and a personalized meal plan will be created to help you better manage your diabetes. MNT goes hand-in-hand with the DSMES program, to provide the most comprehensive and individualized care for each patient.

Sweet Success, Diabetes and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and have diabetes (either prior to your pregnancy or developed diabetes during your pregnancy), you may worry about its impact on your baby. You'll meet one-on-one with a diabetes educator, to learn the facts about diabetes and pregnancy. Our educator will work with you to develop an individualized plan to help you and your baby stay healthy.

Our Certified Diabetes Educators are specially trained through the Sweet Success program, which is part of the California Department of Diabetes and Pregnancy Program (CDAPP) and administered by the California Department of Public Health.

Sweet Success is the national gold standard in caring for women with pregnancy and diabetes.

Diabetes Support Group

Sometimes it helps to share with others who are on a similar life journey. The Diabetes support group is led by one of our diabetes educators and provides a safe forum to express concerns, discuss experiences, and ask questions of others, who just like you, are living with diabetes.

There is no cost to attend and no reservations are needed. Type 1s and Type 2s are encouraged to attend at the date/times listed below; however, meetings are open to all regardless of the type of diabetes they have.

Type I Support Group

  • Meeting: Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month
  • Time: 6:30 - 7:30 pm
  • Location: Torrance Memorial Specialty Center, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 350
  • Get Directions

Type II Support Group

  • Meeting: First and Third Wednesday of every month
  • Time: 1 - 2 pm
  • Location: Torrance Memorial Specialty Center, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 350
  • Get Directions
For more information about the Diabetes Outpatient Education Center, please call 310-891-6707.