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NCRH Diabetes Education Program gets ADA recognition

The American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Certificate for a quality diabetes self-management education program was recently awarded to the Diabetes Resource Center at North Country Regional Hospital.

The ADA believes that this program offers high-quality education, an essential component of effective diabetes treatment.

The ADA's Education Recognition Certificate assures that educational programs meet the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs. These standards were developed and tested under the auspices of the National Diabetes Advisory Board in 1983 and were revised by the diabetes community in 1994, 2000 and 2007.

Programs apply for recognition voluntarily. Programs that achieve recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide participants with comprehensive information about diabetes management.

"The process gives professionals a national standard by which to measure the quality of services they provide," said Andrea Lewis, NCRH education coordinator. "And, of course, it assures the consumer that he or she will likely receive high-quality service."

Education recognition status is verified by an official certificate from ADA and awarded for three years.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 333,000 Minnesotans have diabetes; 233,000 have been diagnosed but 100,000 remain undiagnosed. Each year, more than 27,000 Minnesotans are newly diagnosed with diabetes. This means that every 20 minutes in Minnesota, a doctor tells someone for the first time that they have diabetes.

Many will first learn that they have diabetes when they are treated for one of its life-threatening complications - heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and nerve disease and amputation. Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in Minnesota. Every 2½ hours someone in Minnesota dies from diabetes or diabetes-related causes.

Since 1987, nationwide, the death rate due to diabetes has increased by 45 percent, while the death rates due to heart disease, stroke and cancer have declined. Early diagnosis of diabetes and pre-diabetes is important to prevent long-term complications.

The Diabetes Resource Center at North Country Regional Hospital is staffed by three certified diabetes educators -- Susan Davis, Sondra Gudmundson and Janie Sutherland. These educators equip people with diabetes to manage their diabetes and reduce their risk of complications, helping individuals improve their health. Offerings include:

- Diabetes self-management training.

- Counseling and support.

- iPro continuous glucose monitoring.

- Insulin pump therapy with certified trainers.

November is National American Diabetes Month, a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control. People who wish to learn more or who suspect they may have diabetes can contact the North Country Regional Hospital Diabetes Resource Center at 333-5976.