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Thursday, November 10, 2011 - Local Resources Help Residents Living With Diabetes

Local Resources Help Residents Living With Diabetes
From education to clinical initiatives, efforts to fight diabetes ongoing

Every 17 seconds, another person is diagnosed with diabetes.

Recent numbers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Estimates project that possibly one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050.

The American Diabetes Association has designated November as National Diabetes Month.

In northern Michigan, educating residents about the disease continues to be a priority. Munson Medical Center’s Diabetes Education and Clinic helps patients learn how to manage the disease, improve their blood sugar control, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

“We offer one-on-one education or in groups on diabetes and pre-diabetes,” said Linda Bratsis, R.N., CDE, a diabetes educator. “We cover topics such as what is diabetes, meal planning, how to check one’s blood sugar level, and appropriate insulin use.”

Most patients who use the program are referred by their primary care physician. For more information on the service, call (231) 935-8200.

Munson takes the lead in the Northern Michigan Diabetes Initiative, an 11-county collaboration of several hospitals and agencies working to reduce the incidence of diabetes in the region and help those diagnosed with the disease live healthier lives.

During the past fiscal year, the initiative’s efforts resulted in increases in the number of people screened for A1c or glycated hemoglobin levels, saw improved laboratory test results in patients with diabetes, and witnessed increases in referrals to diabetes education.

“Positive outcomes are being achieved as a result of the initiative’s collaborative efforts working toward our annual objectives as a team,” said Diane Butler, R.N., Manager of Community Health at Munson Medical Center. “We will continue our efforts to reduce the prevalence of diabetes and improve the care of people with diabetes in the coming year.”

The initiative’s website is nmdiabetes.org.

Area residents diagnosed with diabetes also now have a one-stop shop for their diabetic needs at the Munson Community Health Center Pharmacy’s Diabetes Shoppe, 550 Munson Ave, in Traverse City.

Pharmacist Kathleen Brown, R.Ph., said pharmacists and staff have received specialized training to ensure that they have knowledge and expertise about diabetes supplies, medications, and the lifestyle issues that matter most to people with diabetes.

“At our Diabetes Shoppe, people will find a wealth of resources committed to helping ease the burden of managing diabetes so they can stop worrying and start living without limits,” she said.

For more information, call the Diabetes Shoppe at (231) 935-8730.