November is American Diabetes Month

November 2, 2022

Diabetes education at HMH: gain the knowledge and support to live—and thrive—with diabetes

American Diabetes Month brings awareness to the disease that impacts 37.3 million Americans. The chronic condition impacts how the body metabolizes sugar and can lead to heart disease, amputation, blindness, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, chronic kidney disease—and death—if left untreated. At Howard Memorial Hospital, our expert team has advanced certification to help people manage—and even reverse—a diagnosis that hits particularly hard close to home.

More than 13% of Arkansans have been diagnosed with diabetes, a statistic that's 3% higher than the nationwide average. According to a 2021 study, an alarming 90 to 95% of diagnosed cases in the state are Type 2 diabetes—but there is a silver lining. By incorporating simple, healthy lifestyle changes, people can often manage the disease without medication—and even reverse the diagnosis altogether.

Manage, prevent—even reverse—diabetes

Diabetes management is critical for people living with Type 2 diabetes. Simple lifestyle changes like incorporating a healthy diet and adding more physical activity can prevent the need for costly medications and reduce the risk of long-term health complications. An important first step is to partner with a primary care provider to establish health goals and get the guidance to navigate the disease. At HMH, patients also have access to the area's only American Diabetes Association-recognized education program to gain the skills and education to live—and thrive—with diabetes.  

The region's only American Diabetes Association-recognized educator is right here at HMH!

Denise Graves, RDN, LDN, CDE, is a certified diabetic educator and registered dietician who counsels patients of all ages about health, wellness and living with diabetes. As the area's only certified diabetes educator, she holds the advanced accreditation needed to teach the American Diabetes Association's diabetes education program, a nationally recognized, 4-part program that provides education, support and offers personalized, practical solutions to help participants live healthier, happier lives.

HMH's accredited diabetes self-management education program includes:

  • A one-on-one assessment. The comprehensive, one-hour evaluation provides a thorough picture of a participant's health and lifestyle habits and lays the framework to determine wellness goals, understand health concerns and learn expectations a patient may have of the program.
  • Diabetes basics. The first course covers important information to help participants understand what diabetes is, how to treat it and how it impacts the body. Participants also learn how to monitor blood sugar.
  • Nutrition-focused education. Class two focuses on healthy eating and how food directly affects blood sugar and diabetes.
  • Self-management skills. In class three, participants learn tips for healthy living to continue after the program—like cooking for diabetes and how simple changes in eating can help them avoid the need for medication. Participants also receive valuable social support to make it easier to take control of their diagnosis and improve their health.

Enroll in HMH's Diabetes Self-Management Education program

Anyone with a diabetes diagnosis is eligible to enroll in HMH's diabetes self-management education. Patients can pick up an informational brochure at Howard Memorial Hospital and complete a self-referral. Once approved by their provider, patients can begin the program. To learn more, call Denise Graves, RDN, LDN, CDE at 870-845-4400 ext. 6935 or visit our diabetes education page.

Posted in:  Health