Like any successful business, Poudre Valley Health System tries hard to offer services that meet the needs of its customers and to make it easy for clients to receive those services.
This has been the case with our approach to diabetes education. Diabetes is a major disease that can cause heart problems, strokes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, blindness, neurological problems, and other illnesses.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million American children and adults—8.3 percent of our population—have diabetes. With the annual cost of diabetes soaring above $218 billion in the U.S., the disease is a major driver of healthcare expenses.
As PVHS has grown throughout northern Colorado, so has our Center for Diabetes and Outpatient Medical Nutrition Therapy.
In addition to services at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, in the last year we’ve expanded diabetes education services to Loveland, at Medical Center of the Rockies, and Greeley, at Greeley Medical Clinic. This will make it much easier for people with diabetes in those communities, Windsor and the counties of Weld and Larimer to get diabetes education. For information, call 970.495.8205.
The center’s 17 employees include registered nurses and registered dietitians, all specialized in diabetes education and management. They spend considerable time with patients after they are diagnosed by their physicians.
The nurses and dietitians emphasize the importance of healthy blood glucose levels and self-education. They take a team approach by collaborating with the physicians of diabetes patients to provide the best care.
Our program, recognized by the America Diabetes Association since 1996, offers two-day diabetes classes each month to help patients and family members learn more about managing their conditions.
Classes cover such issues as blood-glucose monitoring, meal planning, physical activity, medicines, prevention of low or high blood sugar levels, ways to avoid complications, and what to do if a person with diabetes becomes ill.
The center’s specialists also offer pre-diabetes classes in Fort Collins and Loveland; nutrition therapy for patients treated through our Bariatric Center of the Rockies; and education classes at Poudre Valley Medical Fitness in Windsor’s Water Valley.
In addition, the center hosts such special events as a summer diabetes camp—Camp Sweet Pea—and a Halloween party for children. These are learning opportunities that help kids and parents learn about diabetes.
The education is extremely important because it is essential for people diagnosed with the chronic disease to have the opportunity to learn what the disease is and find out the management tools they can use.
The goal is for patients to be healthy and prevent long-term complications that may occur if their condition is left untreated. Healthy nutrition, physical activity and medications are all important positive influences.
I’ve always been impressed by how passionate our diabetes staff members are about helping patients. Their philosophy is to help patients learn to manage their diabetes, not let their diabetes manage them.
There is much to learn about diabetes. I’d like to encourage you to take time and find out information about the types of diabetes symptoms, treatments, and ways to avoid the disease. Here are some excellent online places to start:
- PVHS Center for Diabetes
- American Diabetes Association
- WebMD Diabetes Health Center
- Mayo Clinic Diabetes