The people of Western North Carolina have relied upon word-of-mouth long before the existence of social media, search engines, or even the telephone book. Neighbors have always been trusted sources of local information like where to buy seeds in the spring, or which doctor really takes the time to listen to her patients. The MountainConnections initiative extends the tradition of neighbors helping neighbors in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. North Carolina as a whole has a high rate of diabetes and pre-diabetes. Diabetes is a serious chronic condition that, unmanaged, can lead to blindness, foot amputation, stroke, and even death.Physicians and other medical professionals are typically a patient’s first line of defense, starting at the time of diagnosis. But medical interventions are not enough for managing diabetes. Daily exercise and healthy eating are critical to staving off the complications of diabetes.Churches, schools, and local nonprofit organizations – our neighbors – offer a wealth of diabetes management programs like walking clubs and healthy cooking classes. MountainConnections aims to work with health providers to raise their awareness of these programs so they can make trusted referrals to their patients. It’s neighbors helping neighbors, just like the people of Western North Carolina have always done. It’s just one of the mountain traditions that makes us MountainWise.