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Tackling Diabetes with Free Classes and Screenings

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fort HealthCare nurses, physicians and staff from all departments work diligently to not only provide exceptional care to our patients, but also contribute selflessly to a variety of community causes, events and programs. One such activity is the diabetic education program.

Effective treatment of diabetes must include self-management education. Assuring high-quality education for patient self-care is one of the primary goals of Fort HealthCare’s Diabetes Education program. Rhonda Perdelwitz, RN, the Diabetes Education Coordinator for Fort HealthCare, states, “It is our goal to make sure people receive the best possible care, and that includes making sure the community is informed about ways to maintain good, long-term health for themselves and their families. We hope to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and how to manage diabetes in the safest way possible.” Perdelwitz noted that many people are not aware that they have diabetes, and they may first learn of it when they are treated for one of its life-threatening complications including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve disease or amputation.

The Fort HealthCare Diabetes Education department offers a number of free services to the community including a bi-monthly Diabetic Education Series featuring open discussion and an educational presentation, free blood glucose meters and meter reading instruction, educational programs at area schools, free diabetic education information at community health fairs request, and improved access to diabetic education materials for the growing Hispanic community in the area.

The number of cases of diabetes diagnosed each year is increasing, and the Fort HealthCare Diabetes Education department strives to teach the community that many simple lifestyle changes can make living with diabetes more manageable, or greatly reduce the risk of ever being diagnosed with it. The Fort HealthCare Diabetic Education program educates dozens of people every regarding healthful food choices, lifestyle habits, and the importance of physical activity in daily life.