Amsterdam hospital center for diabetes gets recertification

People with diabetes are often told to eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthful diet.
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Categories: Schenectady County

People with diabetes are often told to eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthful diet.

But for diabetics taking the blood thinner Coumadin, green cabbage should be avoided because it works against the advantageous properties of the blood thinner.

Red cabbage, however, is OK to eat, said Susan L. Bates, R.N., a certified diabetes educator at the Diabetes Center at Amsterdam Memorial Hospital.

Small details can make a big difference in the lives of people coping with the progressive disease, and periodic education is considered paramount for successful treatment.

The hospital’s diabetes center, which provides clinical and education services for people with diabetes, hypoglycemia and other diseases, recently earned recertification following a review by the American Diabetes Association, which determined that the center is one of about 3,000 nationwide meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs.

“Diabetes is a chronically progressive disease, and the whole goal … is to learn to manage it yourself,” Bates said.

A typical visit with the doctor takes about 15 minutes, Bates said, but diabetes patients are urged to visit with an educator and dietitian to ensure that they make the right choices every day, which can ultimately lead to a longer life.

Topics such as the level of exercise, eating habits, drug interactions and a patient’s motivation all factor into an education program that has to meet standards or risk decertification, Bates said.

Health management organizations won’t cover a patient’s visit for education without the certification, Bates said.

Amsterdam Memorial Hospital’s Diabetes Center partners with endocrinologist Dr. Rajinder Jain, who said advances in diabetes care are among important facets of education that are updated often.

“Basically, education is a very big part of diabetes care. That’s one of the components that often gets missed from doctors’ offices,” Jain said.

New medications and testing equipment to measure blood glucose levels are subjects an education center needs to keep up on in order to help patients stay up to date in managing the disease, Jain said.

“New devices come in diabetes care all the time,” Jain said.

The center serves patients primarily from Fulton and Montgomery counties, where the population’s diabetes mortality rates exceed the statewide average, according to the state Health Department.

Statewide, diabetes claimed an estimated 22.1 lives per 100,000 in 2003, compared with 27.2 in Fulton County and 46.6 in Montgomery County, according to statistics on the state Health Department’s Web site.

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