Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is proud to announce the expansion of its diabetes education programs. The Washington State Attorney General’s office awarded Memorial a grant in the amount of $202,800. The money comes from a consumer protection settlement with GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals.

The grant funding will go towards expanding Memorial’s current diabetes classes and education programs. Exercise equipment, vascular monitoring equipment and foot care instruments will be added to establish a Center for Diabetes Prevention and Control in Yakima County.

“This funding gives Memorial the opportunity to improve the lives of our residents who are impacted by diabetes,” said Peggy Steere, RN, diabetes program director. “We not only want to provide the education that is needed in English and Spanish, but we want to integrate all the services we offer – from diagnosis to disease management.”

Memorial plans to implement the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention Program. This evidence-based program is based on the Diabetes Prevention Program research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by the CDC. It is designed to bring to communities evidence-based, lifestyle change programs for preventing type 2 Diabetes. These lifestyle changes reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% in people at high risk for diabetes.

In addition to the Attorney General’s grant, Memorial’s diabetes program recently received the prestigious American Diabetes Association (ADA) Education Recognition Certificate for providing quality, self-management education.

The ADA recognition certificate assures that the programs meet national standards for diabetes self-management education. The standards were developed and tested under the guidance of the national Diabetes Advisory Board in 1983. There have been three revisions to the standards, the most recent in 2007.

Programs voluntarily apply for recognition. “We have a highly trained, knowledgeable staff that provides our patients with comprehensive information about managing their disease,” said Steere. “This recognition gives us national standards to measure the quality of services we offer and gives patients reassurance that the education they receive is second to none.”

The ADA estimates there are 25.8 million people or 8.5% of the United States population who have diabetes. Of those, 7 million people are not aware they even have the disease. Diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in the US.

For more information about Memorial’s diabetes programs, go to yakimamemorial.org/diabetes.

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