The Stanford Youth Diabetes Coaches Program consists of 8 sessions, each one hour in length. They are designed to be taught once a week for eight weeks in order to give students the week to meet with their team member (person they are coaching) and work on their health goals - which they will report on in the next class.
For each class, the curriculum includes a power point presentation, an instructor’s guide with a script, a printable in-class quiz, and a printable coaching assignment. Each of the eight classes include training in becoming a diabetes coach (communication skills, setting achievable goals through action plans, behavior change strategies, and problem solving) and diabetes and health lessons (understanding diabetes, blood sugar management, nutrition, healthy meal planning, physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and partnering with a health care provider). Each class is designed to maximize student engagement with resident instructors and includes check-ins, short embedded video clips, role plays, and discussion prompts.
If you have a relationship with a local high school, that school is the best place to start. Contact the school representative you know best and let them know you are interested in bringing doctors into their classrooms to teach healthy high school students how to become diabetes coaches for family members or friends with diabetes. We recommend that the program be provided for students in the 10th-12th grade, although mature 9th graders could also participate. A brief meeting with the principal or other administrative proxy is important to make sure the school recognizes the value of the program and safeguards time for students to participate.
It’s important to let principals, administrators, and teachers know how this program will benefit their students. You may tell them the program 1) is designed to prepare students for standardized tests with each class including a multiple choice quiz and quiz review; 2) has been proven to increase students’ self-worth and feelings of belonging, as well as diabetes and general health knowledge; 3) provides students with tools for effective goal setting and problem solving; 4) increases students’ health literacy; and 5) brings physician mentors into the classroom to serve as role models for students.
While it is important to “sell” the program to the high school, it is also important that the principal, administration, and teachers understand that you are volunteering your time to do a service for their students. We recommend saying, “The doctors will be leaving their patients and work in the hospital in order to come to your school. We want to make sure that students be available and ready when the doctors arrive.”
The SYDCP has been successfully implemented in a variety of ways. Although it is usually most rewarding for instructors when implemented as an elective course (where all students have chosen to participate) during an advisory time during the school day or as an after-school activity, many schools do not have the resources to support implementation of an elective course. For that reason, some schools have chosen to make the course mandatory during the school day for a select group of students – for example, 10th graders in a biological science class. Although some of the students in a mandatory class may not have a family member or close friend with diabetes, the structure of the program allows students to coach anyone who wants to get healthier. Interestingly, we have found that the program has a bigger impact on students in mandatory settings (likely because their baseline scores are lower). Additionally, the SYDCP has been successfully implemented as part of summer programs and school based health centers. Flexibility is always a key element when determining the best organization of the program.
There are numerous possibilities for scholarly activity. Residents may choose to examine a wide variety of structural or individual health issues that are relevant to the target population at the school sites and in the community. Residents may also choose to develop and examine the impact of additional curricular materials to enhance the program.
Different residency program have organized residents’ schedules differently. Many residency programs choose to incorporate the SYDCP into their community health rotations such that residents serve as instructors during the month and pass on their duties to the next rotating residents the following month. Some residency programs have allowed residents excused absences from clinic or other rotations in order to go to the high school to teach. We recognize that every residency program is unique and needs to determine their own best method for scheduling residents’ time.
We recommend that residents teach in pairs to increase the interaction with students and ensure that at least one resident is available in the event of a scheduling issue. We also recommend that residents teach at least two or more of the eight classes because the program works best with continuity. Resident feedback has confirmed that residents gain more from the experience when given the opportunity to return at least once to teach an additional class.
However, given the scheduling restraints of residents, these suggestions are flexible. The program has been implemented successfully with only one resident instructor for each class and with different residents teaching each week and communicating with each other regarding student needs.
The details of program implementation will need to be arranged with the high school partner. Depending on the resources of the high school partner, it is reasonable to ask that the high school have the power point loaded on the projector and ready for the residents to give, and the quizzes and coaching assignments printed for the students. Communication is essential in determining who will do these preparatory steps.
If you are utilizing a methodology inspired by the SYDCP in your independent research or scholarly activity, we ask that you acknowledge the SYDCP in any program materials, grant applications, presentations, or publications. We ask that you 1) utilize the following statement and 2) cite the SYDCP publication most relevant to your work.
Statement: “The methodology utilized in this project was inspired by the Stanford Youth Diabetes Coaches Program (SYDCP), an evidence-based, weekly, eight-session program in which health professional trainees teach healthy high school students from underserved populations to become diabetes and chronic disease self-management coaches for family members. The SYDCP was developed in the Stanford School of Medicine, Division of Primary Care and Population Health, in 2010 and has been studied and improved as part of an ongoing research program since that time.”
Citation: (please select at least one citation most relevant to your work)
Gefter L, Morioka-Douglas N, Srivastava A, Rodriguez E. Remote Implementation of a School-Based Health Promotion and Health Coaching Program in Low-Income Urban and Rural Sites: Program Impact During the Covid19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health’s Special Issue, "Health Needs of Vulnerable Children: Challenges and Solutions II.” 2023 Jan 6;20(2):1044.
Gefter L, Morioka-Douglas N, Srivastava A, Jiang CA, Rodriguez E. Remote Implementation of a Health Promotion Program in an Underserved High School during COVID-19: Lessons Learned. J Pediatr & Child Health Care. 2021;6(2):1045.
Gefter L, Morioka-Douglas N, Srivastava A, Rodriguez E. Increasing patient activation scores of vulnerable youth by partnering medical residency programs with public high schools. Patient Education and Counseling 2021; Apr 1;104(4):927-31.
Gefter L, Douglas M, Srivastava A, Rodriguez E. Addressing health disparities and increasing cultural competency of medical trainees with community engagement. Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education 2019; 9(647):2161-0711.
Gefter L, Morioka-Douglas N, Srivastava A, Rodriguez E. Supporting At-Risk Youth and Their Families to Manage and Prevent Diabetes: Developing a National Partnership of Medical Residency Programs and High Schools. PLoS ONE 2016; 11(7): e0158477.
Gefter L, Bereknyei S, Rosas LG, Morioka-Douglas N, Rodriguez, E. Service-Based Learning for Residents: A Success for Communities and Medical Education. Fam Med 2015; 47(10):803-806.
Gefter L, Rosas LG, Rodriguez E, Morioka-Douglas N. Training At-Risk Youth to Become Diabetes Self-Management Coaches for Family Members: Partnering Family Medicine Residents with Underserved Schools. Diabetes Educ 2014; 40: 786-796.
We have found that printed materials are not necessary for program success, but you have the option of printing pre-made handouts for each session. These printable handouts for each of the eight sessions will be provided to you after you complete the required agreement forms.
As is true for other academic institutions, Stanford tightly controls the use of Stanford's registered trademarks, as well as the use of unregistered names, seals, logos, emblems, images, symbols and slogans that are representative of Stanford. For this reason, we cannot allow the use of the Stanford trademarks in any materials generated by programs that are using SYDCP. We encourage you to use your sponsoring agency trademarks on any materials that you develop for your SYDCP implementation.
High school students appreciate getting certificates of completion, but it is up to you whether you provide certificates. Generally, the high school sponsoring the classes provides them as part of the student’s academic portfolio. If your site decides to provide certificates, please utilize the template download in our Course Materials document, which you may access after submitting the Community Partner Agreement on Access Course Materials page.
We recommend that you only provide certificates to high school students who attend the majority of the course sessions.
We encourage you to support the high school student participants in any way that increases their access to higher education. If you have gotten to know a student through the SYDCP program, and they ask for a letter of recommendation, providing a letter is an opportunity to support them in their academic journey. We do not have a template for letters of recommendation.
Our research has demonstrated that remote implementation of an adapted SYDCP curriculum can be as effective as in-person implementation. Thoughtfully planned remote implementation over zoom or another video conferencing platform can reduce barriers to implementation. Hybrid implementation where the instructor zooms into a classroom is also a viable and effective option. If you are interested in implementing the program remotely, the SYDCP team can provide the adapted remote curriculum for you. Instructors must be skilled in sharing PPT presentations over video conferencing platforms.
The following statement should be included in any media coverage of SYDCP implementation: “The Stanford Youth Diabetes Coaches Program was developed in the Stanford School of Medicine, Division of Primary Care and Population Health.”