Education key to management

Deanna EvansJournal-Capital
Education key to management

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a three-part series on diabetes in Osage County. The first article in the series discussed the impact of the disease in Osage County (Jan. 6). The next article will provide information on how to help manage the disease.

More than 428,900 Oklahomans have diabetes, including 123,500 who are undiagnosed. According to the 2014 Oklahoma State Department of Health’s vital statistics report, from 2005-2010, Osage County reported 11.2 percent of its population diagnosed with diabetes, which does not include those with pre-diabetes.

In the United States, another 1.7 million people will be diagnosed this year, but the impact of diabetes is more than just numbers — it is people’s lives and their quality of life at stake.

People in Osage County must travel to other cities to receive class instruction for managing the disease, but those miles traveled are worth the effort.

“Studies show that diabetes education and intervention reduce the risk of complications, such as eyes, heart, kidneys and circulation,” said Shannon Bailey, MS, RD/LD, CDE, Diabetes and Nutrition Education manager at Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville, the nearest facility for residents of Osage County to learn about various topics related to diabetes. “At least one to two times a month, we offer group classes taught by a nurse and dietitian on different topics related to diabetes, type 2, and insulin management.”

Classes are usually covered by medical insurance, Bailey said, and a referral from a physician is required.

“We also do individual sessions on all topics of diabetes, including healthy eating and weight control,” said Bailey.

“We want people to know up front that the more you know, the more you know to do. That kind of sells them into coming in and learning what they need,” said Sherry Jackson, RD/LD, CDE, registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator in outpatient program at JPMC. “And then, just because I tell them, doesn’t mean they do it, so then they come back and we tell them again through the different groups. Over the period of 4-6 months, after telling them multiple times, changes do happen, so they can maintain their diabetes.”

The classes at JPMC are attended by people living in northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas.

“A lot of people don’t realize it’s not just a city hospital,” said Bailey. “Jane Phillips Medical Center is a regional facility. We see a lot of people from Kansas and the surrounding area, from Caney, Coffeyville, Independence, Parsons, Pawhuska, Hominy.”

“We saw 420 patients last year, and that was from referrals from numerous physicians in our area,” Bailey added. “I don’t think we had any one physician that didn’t refer someone to us.”

Jackson said the JPMC diabetes educators work with the doctors.

“They readily reach out to us,” she said. “The doctors realize they don’t have the time in their office/clinic setting to spend time educating their patients like we do. We routinely speak to the doctors about their patients, letting them know how they are doing, or if we see something medication-wise, we’ll say, ‘Hey, have you thought about trying this with your patient?’ They are very receptive.”

In addition to Bailey and Jackson, the other diabetes and nutrition education staff members at JPMC include Teresa Barbato, RN, CDE, registered nurse and certified diabetes educator in outpatient program; and Casey Merchant, BSN, RN, registered nurse in bariatric surgery program.

The cost of the programs varies, but some class fees may be covered by insurance.

“Various insurance companies have started covering these programs because they are starting to clue in that prevention is where it’s at. It saves them money,” said Bailey. “Call your insurance company, because you may be shocked at what they will cover. Insurances are opening up more on the prevention and education aspects of diabetes.”

JPMC diabetes programs

• Type 2 Diabetes Class: Intended for people with newly diagnosed diabetes or those who need a refresher on the basics of diabetes. Topics include: What is diabetes; activity; goals of control; monitoring glucose levels; sick day care, medications, long term complications, short term complications; foot care; dental care, nutrition basics, psychological aspects of living with diabetes; goal setting.

• Pre-diabetes class: Intended for those diagnosed with pre-diabetes to aid in reduction of their risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Topics include: Medical nutritional therapy and improving activity levels for weight loss and risk reduction.

• Gestational diabetes class: Intended for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during their pregnancy.

• Advanced insulin management class: Intended for people taking insulin. This class teaches people how to self-manage flexible insulin dosing. Topics include: Understanding insulin; carbohydrate counting; insulin management skills; goals of control.

• Individual sessions: Topics include medical nutrition therapy, insulin administration, insulin dose adjustment, insulin pump training, glucose sensor training.

• iPro continuous glucose monitoring: Intended to assist physician in medication management. A glucose sensor is inserted in the subcutaneous tissue and worn for 72 hours. The sensor monitors glucose levels 24 hours a day and is downloaded for physician review.

• Bariatric surgery and non-surgery weight loss programs: Surgeries performed at JPMC are the gastric sleeve and Roux en Y gastric bypass. Non-surgical program includes routine visits with registered dietitian and exercise specialist.

The classes provide about 10 hours of education in the JPMC program and the group classes are about eight hours of it. The nurse teaches four and the dietitian teaches four. The other two hours are individual sessions.

The nurse teaches more about insulin management and the dietitian covers lifestyle and nutrition. After their follow up, people can come back.

“If there is a change in their diabetes, most insurance and Medicare will allow them to come back — for about 4 hours every year,” said Jackson. “There is a lot of support, because we know that diabetes can lead to chronic complications.”

For information on the classes offered at JPMC, call 918-331-1143.

JPMC Wellness Connection

“In the nonsurgical program patients work with me on weight loss and go to the Wellness Connection for exercise,” said Jackson. “We are going to have another session soon.”

The Wellness Connection, the gym facility at JPMC, employs professional trainers and features weights, treadmills and other fitness equipment.

“The Wellness Connection is a great resource here, so we can work on the whole lifestyle aspect, including exercise,” said Jackson.

There’s a fee to join and there are some insurances that will cover the costs, such as the United Healthcare Silver Sneakers.

For more information on the Wellness Connection or the bariatric program, call 918-333-7200.

L.E.A.D. classes

In addition to the classes at JPMC, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service also offers a four-week diabetes class titled LEAD — Live Well, Eat Well, and be Active with Diabetes — to include lecture, food demonstrations and taste testing/meal.

“This class is different from those offered at the hospital,” said Gale Mills, Family and Consumer Science Extension Educator in Washington County. “It serves to help people implement healthy changes in their lives. People can’t eat tuna or chicken breast for every meal. It helps to learn how to plan healthy meals and increase activity.”

Mills will be teaching the classes from 5:30-7 p.m. Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23 at Adams Boulevard Church of Christ, 3700 SE Adams Blvd., Bartlesville, in the dining room located down the hill to the left side of the building.

The program is open to anyone with type 2 diabetes and their families. Each class addresses healthy eating and the importance of physical activity. Class topics are as follows:

Class 1: Diabetes management: healthful eating, physical activity, weight loss and medications (if needed), along with general meal planning tips.

Class 2: Benefits of weight loss (if needed): decreasing calories in, increasing calories out, CHO (carbohydrate) counting, using food labels and physical activity.

Class 3: Diabetes complications: stress, plate method vs. CHO counting (making healthy choices), visual cues and activity log.

Class 4: Health Care Team: modifying recipes, sugar, fat, sodium and fiber and increasing physical activity.

Cost of the class is $25 for the entire program to include materials, food samples/meals. To register, send check made out to the OSU Extension Service, P.O. Box 10, Dewey, OK 74029. Include name, mailing address, e-mail address and home/cell phone number. No physicians order is required for this class. Class size is limited.

For more information, contact Gale Mills at or 918-534-2216. Find her on Facebook at “WashCoFCS.”

Support group

The Washington County Diabetic Support Group meets at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month in the classrooms on the first floor of JPMC.

The Jan. 19 meeting is slated to have Dr. Peaster speak. Future meetings are set for Feb. 16, March 15, April 19 and May 17.

For more information, call the group’s president, Warren Neff, at 918-335-2274.

UP NEXT: Tips on managing diabetes.