The staff at the Diabetes Outpatient Education Program have helped more than 1,400 people with diabetes learn how to better manage their disease over the years, empowering them to stave off debilitating and life-threatening conditions like heart disease, blindness, and stroke.
The program was originally launched in 2005 to address an overwhelming community need for this kind of education and received formal recognition from the American Diabetes Association in 2008 for providing quality diabetes self-management education. That prestigious Education Recognition Certificate has just been renewed.
The need is still there. Nearly 14 percent of Worcester County residents suffer from diabetes, about double the national average.
“It’s crucial that people understand the benefits and how to monitor their blood sugar, how to eat properly, and how to manage their medications,” said Darlene Jameson, a certified diabetes educator (CDE) and the program’s new coordinator. “We can help set goals for improvement and educate them about all the aspects of self care that will keep them healthier.”
That leads to a better quality of life and fewer medical bills.
But, individuals need to utilize the program. Many aren’t aware that they have diabetes or and those who do may not know about the hospital’s diabetes education services.
Fortunately, that is changing.
With the implementation this past year of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model in Atlantic General Health System, the hospital’s network of primary care physician offices, more patients are being connected with diabetes education.
The PCMH care coordinators work with the primary care physician, the patient, any specialists, and support services like the Diabetes Outpatient Education Program to help coordinate all aspects of care so that a holistic approach is taken to improve a patient’s overall health.
“The medical home team has been a fantastic resource for patients who need our services,” said Jameson, who has been with the diabetes program since 2008. “But, we are here for all individuals in the community who need diabetes education.”
Topics covered during the education sessions include blood glucose monitoring, physical activity/exercise plan, diabetes medications, meal planning, managing high and low blood sugar, coping with diabetes, learning proper foot care, and more.
For more information about the Diabetes Outpatient Education Program at Atlantic General Hospital, please call 410-641-9703.
About Atlantic General Hospital
Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) Counties since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of a dedicated community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md. combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology and services. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 40 primary care providers and specialists, care for residents and visitors throughout the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit www.atlanticgeneral.org.
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