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November is American Diabetes Month - Monongahela Valley Hospital Program Fights Diabetes with Education, Programs

Monongahela Valley Hospital's Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology staff members photo

Monongahela Valley Hospital's Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology staff members include Bernie Beadling, RN, CDE; Kathy Guy, RD, CDE; Karen Leone-Pritts, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN, director of the Center, and Patricia Zimmerman, RD, CDE.
(November 4, 2013 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Diabetes is a disease that doesn't stop. It does not take a break. Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes and recent estimates project as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to stop this disease.

To better serve the needs of its community, MVH opened its Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology in 2001. The Center's goal is to raise awareness and understanding of diabetes and its consequences, and to help the community manage and prevent type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which one's body no longer uses its fuel source - sugar, called glucose - properly.

The Center provides high quality outpatient and inpatient diabetes management and education, as well as diabetes prevention education. The Center offers committed certified diabetes educators, physicians, nurses, dietitians and professional staff who work with patients to better understand and manage diabetes.

"The MVH Diabetes Outpatient Education programs work to create a care plan specifically tailored to individual needs and includes group diabetes education classes and individual counseling on a wide variety of topics," explained Karen Leone-Pritts, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN, director of MVH's Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology.

According to Leone-Pritts, those topics include blood sugar monitoring, insulin and oral medication, self management skills, nutrition counseling and meal planning, exercise and stress management.

The Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology provides free community diabetes support groups, supermarket tours, and advanced diabetes education classes to support community members' ongoing education needs.

Daily management of diabetes is important when a patient is at home or when admitted to the hospital. Many studies have shown that keeping blood sugars controlled while hospitalized can also help prevent infections and improve overall outcomes.

The experienced MVH certified diabetes educators understand those special needs and will consult with a patient's physician and nurses to provide the highest quality of inpatient care for his or her diabetes and other conditions. This includes managing blood sugars, providing nutritional needs and teaching basic skills to manage diabetes after hospital discharge.

MVH's Center is recognized locally and nationally.

  • The American Diabetes Association continues to recognize Monongahela Valley Hospital's Outpatient Diabetes Education Program for meeting the National Standards for diabetes self-management education.
  • In 2010, MVH became the second hospital in Pennsylvania and the twenty-second in the nation to achieve The Joint Commission's Certification for Inpatient Diabetes Management.
  • In 2012, MVH received recertification by The Joint Commission with its respected Gold Seal of Approval for its Advanced Inpatient Diabetes Management Program.

Monongahela Valley Hospital's Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology staff works to build support for patients and their families and is always just a phone call away to discuss any concerns or questions regarding diabetes management or pre-diabetes. Call the Center at 724-258-1483.

Fast Facts about diabetes:

  • Diabetes affects 13 million or 11.8 percent of all men and 12.6 million or 10.8 percent of women over the age of 20.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.
  • Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke; 68 percent of those with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Average medical expenses are more than twice as high for a person with diabetes.
  • Most minority populations in the United States, including Hispanic-Americans and non-Hispanic blacks, have a higher prevalence of diabetes than their white non-Hispanic counterparts.
  • The overall risk of death among people with diabetes is about double that of people without the disease.
  • More than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.
  • People with diabetes are 40 percent more likely to suffer glaucoma and 60 percent are more likely to develop cataracts than people without diabetes

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