SMHC's Diabetes Self-Management Program Achieves ADA Recognition

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SMHC's Diabetes Self-Management Program Achieves ADA Recognition


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Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s (SMHC) Diabetes Self-Management Program has earned the prestigious Education Recognition certificate from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). This recognition signifies that SMHC’s program offers comprehensive, high-quality education about diabetes management, delivered by qualified health professionals, that meets or exceeds the ADA’s National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs. “Recognition from the American Diabetes Association is the gold standard for outpatient diabetes programs,” said program coordinator Susan Hicks, RN.

Unlike with many chronic diseases, diabetes is most effectively managed with diet and exercise. Although many helpful diabetes medications have been developed in recent years, the foundation of managing diabetes symptoms and preventing complications is the patient’s own lifestyle behaviors. Education, therefore, is a crucial part of treatment.  “We want our patients to be able to get consistent, accurate information on the disease process, how to deal with it, and how to adjust their diet accordingly,” said Karl S. Salman, M.D., Medical Director of SMHC’s Diabetes Program. “We are providing the right information through the education center, and that has been recognized by our peers in the medical community.”

ADA recognition helps further these educational goals, according to Dr. Salman. “The program, through its accreditation, is being recognized as a center of excellence in diabetes education. It uses standardized diabetic educational methods and tries to correct the many misconceptions that patients have about a diabetic diet.” The program gives patients all of the information they need to control their diabetes successfully, covering how to monitor blood glucose and how to adjust medications, food, and physical activities based on those blood sugar results.

Assessments and education are provided by a registered dietician. The program also provides personalized diabetes management action plans for participants and their families, ongoing individual and group education, and follow-up with the participants and their primary care physicians. “Because diabetes is a self-managed disease, patients need to know about monitoring their blood sugar, making smart food choices, and what to do if they have high or low blood sugar,” said registered dietitian Masha Fox-Rabinovich. “Our program educates patients and empowers them to take control of their diabetes.”

Founded in 1977, Southern Maryland Hospital Center is a 358-bed full service hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland areas. Additionally, SMHC operates a state-of-the-art twenty-four bed subacute unit. Throughout SMHC’s history, it has remained a community leader, a strong supporter of health care education, and a dedicated advocate for quality health care services.

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