Center for Healthy Living offers diabetes education resources

November 20, 2015  

In an effort to raise awareness and educate community members about the prevalence of diabetes and its effects on those living with the disease, November is recognized as National Diabetes Awareness Month. However, the Center for Healthy Living recognizes that those with diabetes need ongoing support and resources all year long, and the center conveniently provides it.

“I feel having Type 1 diabetes myself helps me to better connect with my clients and understand from a personal level where they are coming from,” says Suzanne Rossiter, registered nurse and certified diabetes educator at the Center for Healthy Living. “I work with clients to promote self-management to achieve individualized behavioral and treatment goals that optimize health outcomes and help them better manage their condition.”

In addition to Rossiter, Ellen Welch, registered dietitian, and Kamal Singh, worksite health pharmacist, are available to assist patients. Welch helps those with diabetes learn about proper food and nutrition choices, and Singh provides in-depth medication management assistance, including working with patients’ physicians to help ensure the best medication lineup.

“A key component to managing diabetes, and other chronic health conditions, is to understand the need to take prescribed medications consistently and accurately,” Singh says. “As such, my role as a pharmacist is to teach patients how their medications work and ensure they know when and how to take them along with other prescriptions. The education provided is an integral part of the overall consult.”

In addition to the medication needs, following a diabetic diet can also be challenging for some. 

"As the registered dietitian, I will work with clients to help them make simple and sustainable changes to their diet which will help better control their blood sugar,” Welch says. “Whether it's carb counting, meal planning, diabetes-friendly recipes or general nutrition questions, I am here to help."  

To provide additional resources in regards to diabetes-friendly foods, the center offers targeted workshops to do just that. In her role, Welch also assists with the center's annual “Dishing it Up Diabetes Style” workshop series, which focuses on diabetes-friendly recipes and foods. The 2016 “Dishing it Up Diabetes Style” workshop schedule will be shared closer to the start date.

Another diabetes-education tool that the Center for Healthy Living offers is the “Living with Diabetes” program. The primary objective of this 12-week, comprehensive program is to share essential education and support so participants can manage their condition, stay healthy and prevent complications.

The next “Living with Diabetes” program begins in February and offers several options to fit a variety of schedules. Participants can choose from one of the following classroom sessions:

* Mondays, Feb. 1 through April 25, noon-1 p.m. or 2-3 p.m. 
* Thursdays, Feb. 4 through April 28, 8-9 a.m. or noon-1 p.m.

Registration deadline is Dec. 18. Details of the program will be shared closer to the registration date. Those who wish to register now or have any questions can call the center at 49-45239.

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

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