Today we’d like to introduce you to Deasa Dorsey.
Hi Deasa, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
In 2013 I worked for a company as a Registered Nurse Care Manager and Certified Health Coach with people who had multiple health diagnoses. One of the conditions that stuck out to me the most was diabetes because I was hearing a similar phrase over and over again with all my patients: “I can’t”. Whether talking about what they couldn’t eat or activities they couldn’t do, it sounded really defeating. I knew I had to do something. 34.2 million Americans have diabetes and there are 1.5 million new cases every year. Breaking this down, even more, every 17 seconds an American is diagnosed with diabetes. Words have an effect on how a person feels, and from there, how they behave. I knew I had to reinstall empowering language surrounding diabetes in order to bring hope to living healthily. So, I created iCan Health LLC. iCan Health is an organization with a simple goal: to remind you, that you can and empower you to reach your optimal state of health. We take a holistic approach, to the mind, body, and spirit. One of the ways we do this is with the iCan Manual: My Simple Manual for Living with Diabetes. This consolidated, easy-to-read tool has been effective in various settings such as workshops, and seminars, and is perfect for support groups.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I filed to formalize my company in mid-2019 and was already geared up to launch in 2020. Well, we all know what happened at the beginning of 2020! I was still determined. Everyone slowed down and shifted to a virtual presence. I will say, that was difficult, especially for a small business like myself whose work was physically in the community. Thankfully I was able to secure a grant on behalf of United Way of Greater Cincinnati Black Empowerment Works Grant for $10,000. This was just what I needed to take off! Truthfully, I’ve been “taking off” ever since! Don’t get me wrong, there are still the occasional “no’s” or “we will get back to you” but I’d like to think that just keeps my path straight toward each “yes!”.
At this point, the biggest struggle is being a small company trying to infiltrate larger corporations. Sometimes, a lot of the time, not knowing someone on the inside presents a challenge, and also navigating structures that have been in place for decades can be a struggle.
We’ve been impressed with iCan Health LLC, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
You won’t find another manual like the iCan Manual. The iCan Manual is an easy-to-read, less than 40-page colorful tool that offers general need-to-know information for diabetes self-management. The iCan Manual covers topics from “what is diabetes” to “carbohydrate counting” and many things in between. The Manual really focuses on the whole being: mind, body, and spirit. It is not your traditional diabetes information. You are equipped with good quality information to make you feel calmer and at ease and most importantly empower you to know You can live healthy!
Recently iCan Health received a grant to facilitate diabetes support groups in the community- free of charge! Research has shown that poor social support can be linked to depression, loneliness, increased risky behaviors, and so on. However, it has also shown that having social support can be linked to improved competence, increased healthy behaviors, increased self-esteem, and overall wellbeing. We can’t wait to get these started!
In July of 2021, we hosted “Barbershop Talks” where we partnered with two local barbershops, offered information about diabetes via a short presentation, facilitated conversation, and paid for the haircuts of each participant. We have to meet people where they are! We also hosted iCan Move and Groove where we rented out a local high school gym, partnered with Christ College of Nursing to have their students partake in the development and execution of community programming, and offered the community an exciting opportunity to move/exercise in a fun way! For National Diabetes Awareness month in 2021, we hosted a yoga session for the community with the goal of rest! As we know, stress contributes to many health challenges, and we wanted to shed light on how important rest and relaxation are to healthy living.
We have offered and do offer workshops and group sessions on all different health topics.
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Always take an advocate with you to your health appointments.
Someone said it best “prevention is always better than cure”.
Meetings can be just as productive in PJs and over Zoom 🙂 (lol)
- iCan Manual $15.99
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.iCanHealthLLC.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/i.can.health/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iCanHealthLLC/