More to share! Let’s “Unpack” a Session Zero!

Written by on 06/19/2020


As we grow our DPP, it is vital to continue building rosters and recruiting participants for our future classes. It’s a significant part of creating a sustainable DPP and building coaching staff. Vigorous, ongoing recruitment is integral to our mission: increasing awareness of prediabetes, Type II Diabetes, and the significance of the DPP. In the end, it comes back to building healthier communities!

This is where the importance of creating a quality Session Zero, rises to the top. So important to consider the details of this opportunity as we engage our community members and answer the questions: “What is the DPP and why should I care?”

When you plan to begin your DPP, consider offering a virtual or in person Session Zero. The NDPP provides a powerpoint template for an employer based informational session. It is easy to edit/add slide information to capture the attention of those in the general public and community groups. The State of Wellness Session Zero Guide is an excellent resource in planning and building that powerpoint! Get creative! Add information, images, and video links/PSAs from the State of Wellness ResourcesMarketing Materials Category.

Let’s take a look into the question: What are some features of a Session Zero?

  • Four Tasks:  Session Zero :
    • Recruitment of future participants
    • Participant readiness assessment
    • Goals, structure, and commitment requirements of the DPP
    • Collecting intake information/registration
  • Planning ahead…
    • If an “In Person” Event….Where will you conduct the event? Here are some of the possibilities:
      • Community partner hosted event/biometric screening or health assessment event, including opportunities for BMI evals, A1Cs, Fasting Blood Sugars.
      • Employer hosted events: using a conference room or cafeteria with fully prepared registration tables (see below).
      • A “Know your Numbers Event”–Usually a community or employer-based event where you could request a table for your DPP. As individuals complete A1Cs, or Fasting blood sugars, arrange with organizers that qualifying participants are guided to your table for post-consultation, sharing information about the DPP! It’s all about increasing awareness of risk and the DPP!  Again, prepping your table with all necessary intake, registration materials, and documents.
      • Where do people meet?  Conduct your event where people gather…. senior centers, libraries, health care center, churches…so many possibilities!
    • If a “Virtual” Event….Spread the word through social media, ads, television local news, community group newsletters, religious organizations, health departments, clinic/hospital community nurses, HR department reps, and local worksite wellness program leads.
    • Protect PHI: Remember to provide secure testing, registration environments, and records storage so all PHI is protected.
    • Document preparation! What are some documents that I should have available?
      • Enrollment/registration-readiness assessment/Authorization forms (check out the Resources Page!)
      • Brochures: Class details, DPP contact information
      • Prediabetes Screening questionnaires (addresses next point!)
      • Other Marketing Materials…..on the Resources Page.
      • Remember…many materials can be shared electronically–emails to area leaders/stakeholders/community groups!
    • What if someone is interested, but has not been fasting? To address this, as you advertise  your Session Zero, it can be helpful to include that fasting blood work will be available– along with providing clear “fasting guidelines”. **A Prediabetes Screening questionnaire can qualify someone to be part of your DPP (in addition to BMI guidelines), remembering that no more than 65% or our participants can qualify through the questionnaire.
    • Telling the story of the DPP!
      • Share the research….proven longterm outcomes!
      • Why should someone care? Cost of doing nothing….health, family, society, medical costs, etc (Resources Page)
      • Bring in past participant! Nothing more powerful than a personal testimony Check out the Program Champion Strategy Toolkit! A great walk through.
      • What does a class feel like/look like? Expectations/time commitment, “typical session” format, privacy of data/records, etc).
    • Ahead of time…Advertise, Advertise, Advertise your in person or virtual Session Zero!
      • Fliers, brochures–distributed where people gather. Inform front desk staff at these locations! Many can be shared electronically.
      • Media-print ads, Community Newsletters,TV noon or evening news.
      • Social media
      • Emailing healthcare leaders/health departments
      • For planning an upcoming virtual session zero, include a “sign up or rsvp” where you can then followup with emailing login details.
      • Consider sharing information at your local farmer’s market!

In the end, a well thought out Session Zero can be one of the most valuable tools in expanding awareness of your DPP and recruiting participants!!!


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