Patient Discovers Education is Missing Link to Controlling Diabetes

November 3, 2009

clinical excellenceWhen Diana Armstrong-Apple goes out to eat, she’s not likely to order a sandwich. That’s just one small change that has helped this 61-year-old grandmother reduce her blood sugar levels and drastically reduce the number of medications she takes. She attributes her success in large part to a series of four evening classes she completed during the spring at the Floyd Memorial Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate.

apple“I learned how to properly give myself an insulin injection and when to take medications. I learned the number of grams of sugar I should have and how to spread it out.”

Diana Armstrong-Apple
Diabetes Education Patient

Armstrong-Apple, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 15 years ago, found herself “trudging along” with an A1C level of 9.5 –above the optimum level of less than 7. “I had never had any education classes on diabetes,” she said. “At one time, maybe I got a piece of paper with a diet on it.” All that changed when she signed up for classes with Joslin.

“I learned so much every night,” she said. Best of all, after just three months, her A1C level had dropped to 7.2.
“It was definitely worth it,” she said, noting she is working to reduce her level even more. “They are so helpful and kind. I’d never been to a doctor or group as concerned with my health as they are.”

Education Plays Key Role at Joslin

The five certified diabetes educators at the Floyd Memorial Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate – including two registered nurses, two registered dietitians and one registered dietitian/clinical exercise specialist–helped more than 1,000 patients last year.

“It’s most important that patients get out in a group environment,” said education program coordinator Beth Ackerman, RD, CDE. “They find out there are a lot of people out there that are just like them and have the same questions.” Joslin educators offer programs such as:

• Balance and Control: a comprehensive diabetes course offered at a variety of timeslots to accommodate nearly
any schedule
• Diabetes Refresher Course
• Classes for women with gestational diabetes
• Support groups
• Exercise programs and special events
• Pre-diabetes education to help those at risk prevent the full onslaught of type 2 diabetes.

Joslin Connects Regionally

Joslin Center Endocrinologist Vasdev Lohano, MD, FACE, knows that 30 miles may be farther than some patients are willing to drive for diabetes care. So he’s bringing diabetes care to them. In August, Dr. Lohano started seeing patients at three satellite locations. “We’re reaching out to people, meeting with local physicians, and bringing the best diabetes care available to previously under-served areas. Everyone is very pleased,” he said.

The new offices are located at:

• New Albany at 2315 Green Valley Road, Suite 100
• Corydon at Northfield Plaza,313 Federal Drive NW, Suite 010
• Charlestown at 9427 Highway 403, Charlestown (in the shopping center next to Jay-C food store)

lohano“A lot of people don’t want to drive a long distance to get the diabetes care they need. Our new centers in outlying areas including Corydon and Charlestown expand the reach of the Joslin Center and bring much-needed care to those communities.”

Vasdev Lohano, MD, FACE
Board Certified Endocrinologist
Floyd Memorial Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate

actionTo schedule an appointment with Dr. Lohano at one of these locations, please call 812-981-6645.

actionFor more information on Joslin’s diabetes education courses or to receive the quarterly Diabetes Focus newsletter, call 812-949-5700.