More than 23 million people, or 8 percent of the United States, has Diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Getting accurate information on this complex disease and gaining access to quality resources can be challenging. St. John West Shore (SJWS) Hospital is dedicated to meeting the needs of the community and offers ways to educate the public and empower them to take a more active role in managing diabetes.
The Diabetes Education* Program at St. John Medical Center offers comprehensive, convenient diabetes care that is provided through individual consultations, group education classes, support groups, and special community education programs. It employs the latest innovative teaching tools to educate and motivate clients toward better diabetes self-management.
The program was awarded recognition status by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The prestigious certification ensures the diabetes education services occur in a high-quality, comprehensive program that meets nationally established standards. A physician referral is required for individual and class diabetes education. Anyone is welcome to the diabetes support group meetings.
Registered Dietitians provide easy tips for healthy eating and work with patients to design a meal plan that is right for them. Other nutritional services include weight loss, pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes instruction.
In addition, a Certified Diabetes Educator and a Registered Nurse Educator are available to teach specific skills, such as blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration. Comprehensive education on “survival level” and “advanced” self-care practices are also available on an individual or group class basis.
A few program topics include how to safely incorporate physical activity into lifestyle, manage blood sugar levels, take medications appropriately, prompt identification of diabetes-related problems, and how to prevent and treat short and long-term complications.
“The value and importance of ongoing diabetes self-management education cannot be emphasized enough,” said DeAna Rodriguez, Diabetes Program Coordinator. “Whether newly diagnosed or having lived with diabetes for years, often people are not aware of the many reasons or circumstances to seek diabetes education.” Some of those reasons include:
The Hospital offers diabetes education in a variety of ways. They include:
“In addition to receiving current and important information, group members enjoy the support, encouragement, and friendship of their peers,” said Rodriguez.
For more information and a 2008 schedule, call 440-827-5341 or check out the new Diabetes Education Web site.