Williamson Daily News
PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in Kentucky. According to the Kentucky Area Development District Profiles, the Big Sandy area has a concentrated population of diabetes, compared to the rest of the state.
Pikeville Medical Center has many programs in place to educate and support its diabetic patient population, according to a news release.
One such program is the Diabetes Education Self-Management classes, which are American Diabetes Association Recognized. The class teaches 10 core content areas in a six-hour class, broken up into two three-hour periods over two days. It is by physician order only and restricted to diagnosed diabetics. Most insurance covers the cost of the classes.
“This class is for any diabetic,” said Sandy Chaney, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator. “It can be for a newly diagnosed diabetic or someone who has had the disease for years.”
The Diabetes Self-Management classes have seen an increase in participation over the last year. Following class participation, there is a one-month follow up visit to check on progress, answer questions and review any necessary material identified at that time.
As a measure of effectiveness, 81 percent of participants had an improved fasting blood sugar from the initial class to the one-month follow-up appointment, and 62 percent of them had lost weight. In 2018, the number of patients returning for their follow-up appointments has risen to 80 percent.
Another program offered is the free Diabetes Support Group. This group has also seen measurable positivity in the health of those who attend. Not only do those in attendance share their experiences with each other, they also swap recipes, talk about their successes and learn how to make better food choices in daily life.
“Participants in the support group learn to live their best life with the disease,” Chaney said. “At the support group, they get advice and support. Diabetes is different for everyone, but you can be healthy and happy.”
The Diabetes Support Group meets at 4:30 p.m. the last Monday of every month at PMC’s Top of the Tower Restaurant on the 11th floor of the May Tower. Meetings are held in dining room No. 3.
For more information about the Diabetes Education programs, call 606-218-3513.