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August 2, 2011 > Outpatient Diabetes Center Celebrates One Year at New Location

Outpatient Diabetes Center Celebrates One Year at New Location

Center Offers the Tools and Support Needed to Manage Diabetes Effectively

Once you've been diagnosed with diabetes, there is no turning back the clock and there is no magical cure. Diabetes requires daily self-management and vigilance to keep your blood sugar in control and your health on the right path.

Fortunately for residents of Washington Township Health Care District, this is not a challenge they must undertake alone.

"The Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center offers support and resources to help community members who have been diagnosed with diabetes prevent, delay, or improve complications through effective self-management," says Washington Hospital Diabetes Program Coordinator Vida Reed, R.N., CDE. "The staff at the center works with you, your family, and your physician to come up with a personalized plan for your life."

The center, which opened in the spring of last year at its new location, expanded with the goal of helping a growing population impacted by diabetes. Recent studies show that there has been an explosion in the incidence of diabetes, with its rate of growth twice as fast in the United States compared to countries in Western Europe.

"Diabetes is increasing worldwide, but local populations served by Washington Hospital continue to be hotspots in the state of California when it comes to diabetes," Reed says. "The prevalence of diabetes here in Alameda County, specifically in the zip codes that the hospital serves, is among the highest in the state of California.

The result of that, she says, is that more people in the local area are getting diagnosed with diabetes, and they need help managing the condition.

"Our move to the new location and our transition into a comprehensive outpatient center has been significant," Reed says. "And there are so many people in the community who can benefit from diabetes-related services, but yet many of them don't even know what is available."

In fact, Alameda County has more than 100,000 people with diabetes, and 33,000 of these individuals haven't been diagnosed. Often this is because diabetes develops gradually over time and has very few symptoms early on. The only true way to tell if you have diabetes - or pre-diabetes - is to visit the doctor regularly for health screenings and have your blood sugar checked.

Blood sugar (glucose) levels tell the doctor whether the cells in the body are responding properly to the insulin that is produced. The following glucose values are based on an eight-hour fast before a blood test:
* Diabetes is a glucose reading of 126 mg/dL or higher on two separate occasions
* Pre-diabetes is a glucose reading of 100 to 125 mg/dL
* No diabetes is a glucose reading of less than 100

The Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center offers a range of services focused on educating and supporting individuals and their families to help them make the healthiest choices.

"Diabetes is something that you have to live with for the rest of your life, but it is very manageable with the right tools and support," Reed says. "We want people in the community to feel like they have the support and education available to them that will help them for the rest of their lives."

Some services at the center include:
* The BASICS program, which incorporates individual assessments and group classes for people and their families who live with diabetes;
* Diabetes Matters, a free monthly diabetes education class with expert speakers (for the first hour), and group discussion (for the last hour) that provides science-based information to help all community members increase knowledge about diabetes;
* Sweet Success, a comprehensive program affiliated with the State of California that works with women who have diabetes and wish to become pregnant or those experiencing gestational diabetes.

The program also offers individual counseling to individuals and families who need help with meal planning focused on weight loss and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol. Counseling can also get you off to a great start if you are starting a new medication or starting insulin.

To learn more about programs and services through the Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center, visit or call (510) 745-6556.

The cost of the program is covered by most private insurance plans; however coverage varies from plan to plan. Diabetes Self-Management Education is a covered benefit under Medicare.

The program is staffed by a dedicated team of nurses and dietitians who are all Certified Diabetes Educators; they have years of experience, a wealth of knowledge and a caring spirit.

The Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center promotes quality education for all patients and has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) since 2007 for consistently meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education. The center is located at 3575 Beacon Avenue in Fremont and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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