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Feature Article

What Is Diabetes Education & What Can It Do for Me?

By Kathy Hillary, RN

Diabetes is a very complex disease and involves making lifestyle changes that you can maintain for the rest of your life. It’s about learning how to make healthier choices in foods, ways to become more active, taking medications correctly and checking your blood sugar

Diabetes education is a recognized part of your diabetes care. It’s covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans when it is offered through an accredited diabetes education program, which has met vigorous criteria set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Samaritan’s programs meet that criteria and are recognized by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Diabetes education is available at all five Samaritan-affiliated hospitals. Group classes and individual appointments are available depending on your needs. Diabetes educators help you learn how to best manage your diabetes. The first step is asking your care provider for a referral.

In order to be successful, it is important attend your education appointments or classes. If you need to miss, be sure to call us so we can reschedule your appointment. Your educators communicate with your care provider, but you’ll want to let your provider know what you’ve learned as well.

Recently, I saw a patient who had a hemoglobin A1C level over 9.0 when he started coming to our clinic. It’s now 6.3. I asked him how diabetes education helped him. He said they made recommendations to his care provider about what meds may help him best and worked with his care provider to give him a solid plan that best helped him.

He also made diet changes and has continued to make healthier choices resulting in a 53 pound weight loss. He switched from regular soda to diet soda and water. His portions are now smaller. Because he has made these changes, his provider has been able to drop the dosage of his diabetes medications.

Remember, your educator is there to help you, support you and develop a plan with you, based on your needs. Call the clinic closest to you for any additional questions or concerns.

You can also visit or for more information.

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