S.T.A.R.S. on the South Side of Chicago Recognition Award

S.T.A.R.S, Supporting, Training, And Recognizing Success, are Community Members, Empowered Patients, and Patient Advocates that we spotlight quarterly for outstanding commitment to the South Side Diabetes Project. The S.T.A.R.S. are bright examples of the ways we can empower and improve our communities.

Our Star for Summer 2014 is
Joshua Pickens

Mr. Pickens STARS

Joshua Pickensÿis an Empowered Patient on the South Side of Chicago and the project?s Star for Summer 2014. Mr. Pickens is a graduate of the Diabetes Empowerment Program, a trained peer-to-peer nutritional tour guide, and a dedicated supporter of the South Side Diabetes Project!

Mr. Pickens learned about the Diabetes Empowerment Program in 2012 from the Chicago Family Health Center and immediately decided to join. After completing the Diabetes Empowerment Program, Mr. Pickens was eager to remain involved with the project. Yolanda O?Neal, our Class Coordinator, describes Mr. Pickens as an ?ambassador? for the project because he supports so many aspects of it. His diabetes-friendly recipe for peach cobbler won an award at our Diabetes Cook Off, and he has appeared on many South Side Diabetes broadcasts and conference programs to speak about his experiences with diabetes management and the South Side Diabetes project.

Mr. Pickens has shared the lessons he learned from the Empowerment Classes with his family, friends, and community. He enjoys working in the community and says if he touches even one person he feels accomplished. There is no doubt that Mr. Pickens?s passion for improving diabetes care has rippled throughout the South Side Community.

Thank you, Mr. Pickens, for being such a dependable and positive member on our team, we look forward to seeing you at the 61st Farmers Market and Save-A-Lot Grocery Stores this summer! Congratulations for being one of the S.T.A.R.S on the South Side of Chicago.

Submitted by: Halle Betts ? Student Research Assistant

For a full interview, continue reading below:


Halle Betts?s Interview with Mr. Pickens

Halle Betts: Tell us about yourself, what are your hobbies?
Joshua Pickens: I enjoy working in the yard; gardening is one of my hobbies. I also enjoy looking and working at the flea market.
HB: How long have you had diabetes and how did you find out about the South Side Diabetes Project?
JP: I?ve been a diabetic for 12 years now. I got the information about the project from the Chicago Family Health Center on Exchange. I took the Diabetes Empowerment class there during the summer in 2012.
HB: Did the class give you any ?new? information that you didn?t know before taking the class?
JP: Yes, a lot! I learned how to watch my diet better, control my A1C levels, and watch what I eat. I also learned how to get proper exercise. There are many resources out there that I didn?t know about.
HB: What is one thing in particular that you learned that will help you to better manage your diabetes?
JP: My favorite part was learning from others and their experience. This class helped me create bonds with people and learn what I should and shouldn?t do.
HB: If you could speak to someone who is diabetic and haven?t taken care of their Diabetes what would you say?
JP: I would ask them if they were familiar with portion control and tell them to make sure that the majority of their plate should be veggies and fruits and a small portion of meat.