There is no doubt that diabetes is affecting large groups of Americans, and is cause for concern in our own backyard. Data from the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (the most recent year for which data is available) is that 23.6 million children and adults in the United States—7.8% of the population—have diabetes. Each year, 1.6 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older. Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates in 2006.
In response to this unfortunate health trend, Meriter - UnityPoint Health has developed an interdisciplinary team of providers to help people manage the disease holistically.
The Meriter Diabetes Care Team
Our Diabetes Care Team is an interdisciplinary team of Meriter providers with specialized training in diabetes management. The team is made up of specialists within endocrinology, nutrition services, health psychology and diabetes education who will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that integrates the medical, nutritional and behavioral aspects of diabetes care. Our mission is to help you understand how you can live well with diabetes, to provide you with day-to-day skills to manage your diabetes and to empower you to make healthy lifestyle changes to achieve optimal health. The Diabetes Care Team will collaborate with your primary care provider to ensure that your diabetes care is comprehensive and well-coordinated.
The Meriter West Washington, Meriter McKee and Meriter Middleton Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs were awarded recognition for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in 2010. These programs were added as a Multisite to the program at Meriter Hospital, currently serving the perinatal population.
The Diabetes Care Team offers group diabetes education classes taught by our interdisciplinary providers, individual appointments based upon your specific needs, insulin pump management and support, continuous glucose monitoring and diabetes follow-up services in the clinics and by telephone.
Diabetes Group Classes Our ongoing diabetes education classes are taught by dietitians, certified diabetes educators and health psychologists. The classes are designed to assist you with developing diabetes knowledge and self-management skills as well as helping with behavior change. In addition, these classes give you the opportunity to expand your support network and to learn from others who are also living with diabetes. Our class sizes are small to allow for supportive group interaction. The content areas included in the classes are those specified in the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education.
Psychological aspects of living with a chronic medical condition
Type 2 and You This is a series of two three-hour classes for those newly diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. The class is designed to help you set your own goals for managing your diabetes. The topics covered in this class include:
Information about diabetes and treatment options
Blood glucose monitoring
Preventing, detecting and treating complications
Behavior change, goal setting and problem-solving
Emotional health and coping strategies
Getting Back on Track with Your Diabetes Self-Management This two-hour class is designed to help you if you are struggling with the management of your blood sugar, food choices or activity level. The class will serve as a refresher of the basic principals in diabetes self-management, including identifying and overcoming the barriers that are preventing you from meeting your treatment goals. We will help you choose your own positive steps to improve your diabetes control. Insurance Most insurance policies cover all or a portion of the services offered. It is ultimately your responsibility to determine whether your specific health care plan covers the services provided by the Diabetes Care Team, although we will assist with verifying your benefit coverage.
Medical Nutrition Therapy
Medical nutrition therapy focuses on diet and lifestyle changes that can prevent or reduce your health risks. Working together as a team, you and your dietitian will develop a plan tailored to your nutritional and medical needs. Your dietitian will act as your guide down the path to nutritional wellness and improved health and quality of life.
Mind Body Medicine
Health Psychologist Gretchen Diem, PhD also holds group sessions for people with chronic conditions who are looking for ways to identify and manage the stress that often accompanies their condition. Learn more about the Mind Body Medicine program.
Take Small Steps to Prevent Diabetes
There's a lot that you can do to delay and even prevent type 2 diabetes!
You can: • Make a healthy lifestyle plan that includes losing a small amount of weight (5-7% of overall weight) if you are overweight (10-14 pounds for a 200-pound person). • Make healthy food choices (fruits, veggies, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, etc.) and drink more water. • Reduce portion sizes. Portion sizes have doubled in the last few decades. • Be more active. Thirty minutes, five days per week is ideal, but any amount will still help. • Set small goals for yourself. Be realistic with your expectations. Identify potential barriers to change and problem-solve around them. • Know your family history - if you have a mother, father, sister or brother who has diabetes, be aware that your risk increases.
Check out our Wellness Programs and join one of our weight and nutrition classes to get on the right track and reduce your risk.