GREENCASTLE -- Putnam County Hospital will begin offering group classes for diabetes self-management in September.
The material will be divided into two sessions: "What is Diabetes?" and nutrition education.
The diabetes session will be led by Certified Diabetes Educator Annette Handy, a registered nurse, and the nutrition education, including carbohydrate counting, will be offered by Registered Dietician Jamie Downen.
"Diabetes now affects 23.6 million children and adults in the U.S.," said Handy. "We are offering tools to help individuals make the best decisions to manage this disease."
In the past, the hospital has offered individual counseling as patients have been diagnosed and referred.
For some the cost has been a hindrance, so it was decided a class setting might allow more diabetic and pre-diabetic patients to obtain the assistance and counseling they need at a reduced cost.
The group classes will be offered in two three-hour blocks every month for a fee of $25. The fee includes both classes.
The first session, "What is Diabetes?" will be held on Sept. 2 and the second session, nutrition education, will be held on Sept. 9, both beginning at 9 a.m. and lasting until noon.
The second series will begin on September 16 and will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m.
Two series will be held in September and October and only one series in November and December, due to the holiday season. All classes will meet on the third floor of Putnam County Hospital.
"A number of individuals and families need this necessary information, but health insurance does not always cover the expenses of individualized counseling," added Downen.
Patients can save an additional $5 by pre-registering for the class prior to the meeting time.
Those wishing to participate may be referred by their family physician or they can self-refer by calling Putnam County Hospital's Central Scheduling at 658-2760 to enroll.
"Diabetes can be prevented or delayed," Handy said.
"Be proactive," she said. "Talk with your physician and seek out the information you need to make the best choices for yourself. The group classes are a great place to start."