Diabetes educators can help maintain good health

November is National Diabetes Month


by Teresa Myers RN, 

Certified Diabetes Educator


When you have diabetes it is especially important to stay healthy, but sometimes it is not easy. You are not alone – more than 29 million Americans have diabetes. You don’t have to go it alone – a diabetes educator can help you find solutions to staying healthy that fit into your lifestyle.

What is a diabetes educator? Diabetes educators are experienced healthcare professionals, such as registered nurses, registered dietitians or pharmacists, who have special training, knowledge and skills to help you successfully manage all aspects of your diabetes. Like many people, you may find managing your diabetes treatment plan to be difficult. Diabetes care is not “cookie cutter.” What works for someone else may not work for you. That’s where the diabetes educator can help, by working with you to design a specific plan that includes the tools and support you need.

Diabetes education works. Diabetes seldom is a diagnosis made on its own. Most times it is accompanied not only by higher blood sugar levels, but also high blood pressure and high blood lipid (cholesterol) levels. Studies show that diabetes education helps people to lower blood sugar, blood pressure, blood lipid levels and reduce the risks of diabetes and heart complications.


Doctors and other healthcare providers agree – diabetes education is helpful. A survey of doctors whose patients with diabetes worked with diabetes educators found:

• 80% said their patients have more knowledge

• 78% said their patients who worked with a diabetes educator had a positive experience

• 71% said their patients are healthier.

Veterans Memorial Hospital has a nationally accredited Diabetes Education Department, accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. This accreditation allows coverage for education by Medicare, Medicaid and most all other insurance plans. The hospital offers initial one-to-one diabetes education, Diabetes Self Management Education in a group classroom setting, and ongoing support with free monthly Diabetes Support Group meetings.

The VMH Diabetes Education staff, consisting of registered nurses and dietitians, can assist you in obtaining a referral for diabetes education from your local Healthcare provider; as well as referrals from healthcare providers outside of our area.

Contact Teresa Myers RN- CDE, at Veterans Memorial Hospital @ 563-568-3411, extension 172 for further information.