Diabetes Education

Diabetes Mellitus is one of the leading causes of death in the Native Hawaiian community. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious damage of every organ, often resulting in complications such as stroke, blindness, kidney failure, amputation of limbs, and complications of pregnancy.


Mai Ka Mālaʻai: From the Garden

A 10-week educational program that encourages you to learn more about diabetes, to develop the skills to manage diabetes, and to take action in the management of diabetes. You will receive a small garden box with soil and seedlings as well as gardening tips to help you care for and sustain it.


To provide an educational setting that will encourage clients to increase their knowledge about diabetes, its risk factors and associated complications; to learn skills to manage their diabetes and to take action in the management of their diabetes.   All clients with diabetes or who are at high-risk for developing diabetes and their ‘ohana are encouraged to participate in the program activities.

Program Description:

This is a 10- week program designed to provide diabetes education and to help clients develop skills to self manage their diabetes.  Classes will center around a 4×2 garden box that will provide food, physical activity, relaxation and a common focus from which class participants can share experiences about their lifelong condition.

SCREENING (Initial, 6 months, 1 year)


  1. Blood Sugar
  2. Cholesterol
  3. Blood Pressure
  4. 3-day food intake
  5. Physical activity assessment

Program Content:

Building Your Māla – How to build a 4×2 garden box

  1. Planting and caring for your Māla
  2. Diabetes 101

Risk Factors, Pathophysiology of Diabetes, Signs & Symptoms, Monitoring glucose levels, Lifestyle Adjustments, Insulin and Oral agents, Encouraging use of glucose meters, Establishing Routine Care, Regular Meal Schedule


Dietary Recommendations for Individuals with Diabetes, Food Portions, Benefits of Fiber, Making Your Recipes Healthier.

  1. Fitness
  2. Medication Management
  3. Taking Care of Your Feet
  4. Fertilizers for Your Māla
  5. Dental Health
  6. Coping Skills
  7. Sustaining your Māla


Referrals of high-risk clients will be made to appropriate clinical staff or private providers.


1.  Gardens will be monitored by a  staff member and/or  volunteers.

2.  Outcome Measures:

a.  100% of participants will be screened at the beginning, 6 months and 1 year.

b.  90% of clients will have HgA1c done annually

c.  40% of clients will have HgA1C of < or = 7

c.  50% of clients will have random glucose values of <140 mg/dl

d.  30% of clients will increase vegetable intake to 3/day and fruit intake to 2/day

e.  30% of overweight/obese participants will lose 5% of their body weight in 6 months

f.  100% of clients will learn a Hawaiian value.

If  you have any Questions or concerns regarding any thing related to Diabetes or want to join in one of our Mai Ka Mālaʻai Classes Please call and talk with one of our Outreach Case Managers to schedule a time that would fit you to come in and learn more about taking better care of  you or someone you love.


For more information please contact an office nearest you: 
 (808) 969-9220   for  Hilo
 (808) 965-5521   for  Pāhoa
 (808) 323-3618   for  Kona
 (808) 929-9700   for  Kaʻū 
 (808) 885-0489   for Waimea