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Program offers diabetes support and more

Center for Healthy Living team members have knowledge and skills to help those with diabetes or pre-diabetes better understand the disease and live a healthier life. Since January 2014, the Center has offered benefits-eligible faculty and staff the opportunity to take part in its “Living with Diabetes” program. Registration is now open for the upcoming session.

The basics

The comprehensive program – designed to provide education and support to individuals who have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, as well as those identified with pre-diabetes – does as its name implies, helps people live with the disease.

To participate in the program, individuals must have a diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes from a Center for Healthy Living provider or through approved documentation from a community provider. It’s tailored for the newly diagnosed, as well as those with years of experience living with this disease.

The program is available at no charge to benefits-eligible faculty and staff at all Purdue campuses. Those who have opted out of Purdue medical coverage -- and spouses/same-sex domestic partners and adult dependents covered on a Purdue medical plan – also are able to participate. Staff at regional campuses will be provided telephonic and portal support to complete the program.

In addition, the Living with Diabetes program is also open to parents and guardians of children under the age of 18 (covered on a Purdue medical plan) who have been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes who would like to attend on behalf of their child(ren).

The program consists of a pre-assessment, a post-assessment, a 12-week class that meets once a week and ongoing health coaching and pharmacist visits tailored to your needs. Participants gain the educational tools needed for success and develop a plan to become an active partner with their health care provider. Those attending may invite a supportive family member or friend to attend the program with them should they wish to do so.

Classes begin the week of Aug. 22 and run through the week of Nov. 14. Participants will register for one of the following class times:

  • Mondays, noon – 12:50 p.m.,  Hall for Discovery and Learning Research (DLR), Room 143A
  • Mondays, 2 – 3 p.m.,  Hall for Discovery and Learning Research (DLR),
    Room 143A
  • Thursdays, 8 – 9 a.m.,  France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center (CoRec), Wellness Conference Room
  • Thursdays, noon – 12:50 p.m.,  France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center (CoRec), Wellness Conference Room

Each class time is limited to 20 participants. Purdue employees who work during the program’s meeting and appointment times may participate in paid status with supervisor approval and don’t need to take sick leave or vacation.
To enroll, call the center at 49-45505 by July 11.

Your support team

At the Center for Healthy Living, some of the team members’ specific skill sets offer even more to those with diabetes.

As a participant in the program, you’ll have the expert services of these health care professionals:

• Suzanne Rossiter - registered nurse (RN) who is a certified diabetes educator and certified health and wellness coach

• Kamal Singh - pharmacist who is specially trained in medication therapy management (MTM)

• Ellen Welch - registered dietitian (RD) who will assist with individualized meal planning
The three combine to share valuable information specific to living with diabetes.

Rossiter uses her well-rounded knowledge of and experience in pre-diabetes, diabetes prevention and diabetes management to educate and support individuals and families affected by diabetes.

As a type 1 diabetic herself, Rossiter brings an added personal connection to the program and participants.

“I’m able to connect with my clients on an entirely different level,” Rossiter explained. “Having type 1 diabetes myself, I literally know what they experience living with this disease – emotionally and physically – and I think knowing that I understand them to that degree provides added comfort and trust for my clients.”

Rossiter works with clients to promote self-management to achieve individualized behavioral and treatment goals that optimize health outcomes and help them better manage their condition. Self-care behaviors such as glucose testing, healthy eating, physical activity, stress management and medication management are emphasized.

A key component to managing diabetes, and other chronic health conditions, is to understand the need to take prescribed medications consistently and accurately. Depending on whether an individual has been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes makes a difference in the medications prescribed and treatment plans. That’s where Singh comes in to assist.

“My role as a pharmacist specific to this program, is to teach patients how their diabetes medications work and ensure they know when and how to take them along with any other prescriptions they may have,” Singh said. “When multiple prescription drugs are on your daily schedule, it’s good to have someone you can count on to help you navigate through them. I’m here to do that for my clients.”

Ellen Welch, registered dietician, helps participants learn about proper food and nutrition choices, which both play extremely important roles in managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

“Being newly diagnosed with diabetes – and living with the disease long-term – can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking,” Welch said. “I help clients in this program make simple and sustainable changes to their diet that will help them learn how to eat in order to see better blood sugar levels. Anything related to nutrition and food choices, including carb counting, meal planning, diabetes-friendly recipes or general nutrition questions, I am here to help."  

In addition to these clinical specialists at the center, you’ll meet providers in the fields of optometry, endocrinology and podiatry – all fields with direct ties to diabetes management.

More details

  • Information about the program and the medication discounts is available on the Center for Healthy Living’s website. The same plan provisions in regards to medication discounts would apply to the child(ren) whose parents attend on their behalf.
  • Real life results: Learn how the “Living with Diabetes” program positively impacted Matthew McClain’s life after he was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic.

Questions about the program should be directed to Singh at 49-66833.

The Center

The Center is open for provider appointments Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lab hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For medical consultation needs after hours or on weekends, please contact the Anthem nurse line at 888-279-5449 for assistance.

For more information on overall services offered at the Center, please visit the Center’s website.


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