High local diabetes rates prompt classes

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 16, 2013

Beginning this month, diabetes education classes will be offered at Andalusia Regional Hospital.

ARH chief nursing officer Melissa Davis the high population of diabetic patients served at the hospital prompted the classes to be set.

“The medical community has requested that this service be offered in a formal setting for their patients,” Davis said.

Davis said statistics show that approximately 12.1 percent of Covington County residents are diabetic, compared to 7.8 percent of the United States.

Lanora Medley, RN, BSN, diabetes educator said health officials encourage diabetics and a friend or family member to participate.

“It’s most beneficial for the patients to have understanding from a family member or friend so they can help support their care,” Medley said.

She said classes are structured to meet individual needs while also teaching the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) seven self-care behaviors.

“This includes healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medications, problem solving, healthy coping and reducing risks,” she said. “

Beginning this coming week, classes will be offered on the third Tuesday of each month, from 9 a.m. until 3. Lunch is provided. Classes are planned for August 20, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 19, and Dec.17 .

Medley said referrals are needed from a diabetes doctor before patients can register for the class.

Most insurances pay for this service in new diabetics and diabetics that have not had formal training, Davis said. Those interested should call central registration at ARH to register.

“When registering for the class, the scheduler will discuss the cost with the referred individual,” Davis said.