Nearly half of all Americans have diabetes or prediabetes, considered the nation’s most expensive chronic health condition. Many will first learn that they have diabetes when they are treated for one of its life-threatening complications – heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve disease and amputation. Excela Health’s Outpatient Diabetes Education Center maintains a leading role in helping people with diabetes manage their disease through its nationally-certified education program. Excela’s program was first recognized in March 2014 and was recently re-certified by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) through its Education Recognition Program (ERP).
The ADA’s Education Recognition Certificate assures that educational services meet the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES). These standards were developed and tested under the auspices of the National Diabetes Advisory Board in 1983 and were revised by the diabetes community several times over the past 40 years, most recently in 2017. The ERP promotes quality programming for people with diabetes by certifying that services adhere to those standards. Services certified by the ADA’s ERP program feature a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who provide participants with comprehensive information about diabetes management. Services apply for recognition voluntarily, and ADA-ERP recognition lasts for four years.
“Diabetes greatly impacts the risk of and the trajectory of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke, conditions which are common in our region,” said Carol J. Fox, MD, Excela Health Chief Medical Officer. “Excela Health is fortunate to have a comprehensive program aimed at assisting patients with diabetes in optimizing their glucose management, thereby limiting the negative cardiovascular effects. We are very proud of our program and of our team.”
“Daily self-management skills are absolutely essential for people to effectively navigate the 24/7 challenges of living with diabetes, helping to keep them healthy and prevent or delay the serious complications of diabetes,” said Linda Cann, MSEd, ADA’s senior vice president of professional services. “We applaud Excela Health’s Diabetes Education Center for its commitment to providing high-quality, evidence-based education and support for people with diabetes by meeting the National Standards for DSMES and earning the ADA’s ERP recognition.”
Self-management education is an essential component of diabetes treatment. One consequence of compliance with the national standards is the greater consistency in the quality and quantity of education offered to people with diabetes. Participants in an ADA-recognized program are taught self-care skills that promote better management of the diabetes treatment regimen. All approved education programs cover the following topics as needed: diabetes disease process; nutritional management; physical activity; medications; monitoring; preventing, detecting, and treating acute complications; preventing, detecting, and treating chronic complications through risk reduction; goal setting and problem solving; psychological adjustment; and preconception care, management during pregnancy, and gestational management.
Excela Health’s certified diabetes educators assist some 1,100 patients annually. Classes are offered by appointment on an individual basis in several locations across Excela’s service area, and include followup with the participant’s referring health care provider to promote continuity.
For more information, call 724-537-1049 or visit ExcelaHealth.org and search diabetes.