Why Understanding Diabetes is Important:
Diabetes causes more deaths in a single year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Almost 26 million people in the United States have diabetes. And sadly, 7 million of these are undiagnosed. Diabetes is a deadly and dangerous disease, but it doesn’t have to be. Too often, folks who have just been diagnosed with diabetes think they can never eat sweets or bread again. And because of this misconception – or lack of education – many people with diabetes shun diabetes management and treatment altogether. With the proper self-management and moderation, diabetes does not have to be an “all or nothing” kind of lifestyle. Learning how to properly control diabetes can prevent many long term health complications like heart disease and attack, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, foot damage, Osteoporosis, hearing loss, and Alzheimer’s.
How PMH Can Help:
Terry Wagner is a Certified Diabetes Educator here at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital who is available to help anyone in the community – not just hospital patients. A Certified Diabetes Educator has a national certification backed up by education, training, and work-related experience to help people with diabetes live healthy and productive lives. If you have diabetes, do not feel that you are alone in treating and managing your disease! Terry can help you develop a personal meal and exercise plan; as well as explain how your medication works and when to take it. Managing diabetes will be different for each person depending on age, school or work schedule, activity and exercise level, eating habits, and any special medical conditions. Blood sugar monitoring is an extremely important part of successfully managing diabetes and Terry can help you learn what type of meter to buy and how to use it. If you just need some help and support in understanding diabetes, Terry always has a willing and open ear.
Educational Opportunities at PMH:
“B-N-Charge” is a series of diabetes self-management classes taught at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital. The program includes four group classes and additional individual meetings if needed. “B-N-Charge” gives you the education and resources needed to control diabetes and is suitable for those just diagnosed or who have had diabetes for years. Topics include medication, nutrition, exercise, foot care, family involvement, social support, self-monitoring, prevention of complications, community services, behavioral change strategies, and stress tips. The classes are a Medicare-covered program and are also covered by most health insurance plans. A physician referral is required; but please call Terry with any questions or for a referral form.
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is very proud that their “B-N-Charge” class an American Diabetes Association recognized program. ADA believes that this program offers high-quality education that is an essential component of effective diabetes treatment. To achieve ADA recognition, a program voluntarily goes through an extensive application process. This assures that the educational programs meet the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs. Programs that achieve Recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide participants with comprehensive information about diabetes management. Education Recognition status is verified by an official certificate from ADA and awarded for four years.
“Dining with Diabetes” is a collaborative effort with the West Virginia University Pocahontas County Extension Service that is offered annually. This month long series of classes meets weekly for self-management education, exercise, and diabetes-friendly cooking demonstrations. The program is available to anyone who has diabetes or has family members with the disease. During the past 15 years, this program has reached over 300 people in learning to make small, simple changes to their eating and cooking habits to better manage their diabetes. A Hemoglobin A1c test is conducted at the beginning of the program and then again at a three month reunion and have shown significant improvements. Physician referral is not required.
Diabetes Support Group:
An additional opportunity to learn more about diabetes self-management and treatment is the Diabetes Support Group that meets monthly in the hospital conference room. Being in the group is completely free and is a time of fellowship, education, and fun. Meetings typically begin with an educational speaker and end out with a question/answer and support time. Speaker topics have included healthy holiday eating, proper foot care, importance of vaccinations, and heart health. Check the Calendar for the next meeting date!
In the News:
Check out this clip from our friends at Allegheny Mountain Radio with Terry discussing the diabetes epidemic and what Pocahontas Memorial Hospital can do to help!
Another clip with Terry discussing how diabetes education first got started in Pocahontas County.