Putnam County Hospital will again be offering a group class for diabetes self-management in August. The material will be divided into two sessions -- Diabetes 101: Diabetes Basics and Diabetes 201: Proper Nutrition, which will include carbohydrate counting.
The 101 session will be led by Certified Diabetes Educator Annette Handy, RN, while the 201 session will be offered by Registered Clinical Dietitian Jamie Downen.
"Diabetes now affects 23.6 million children and adults in the U.S.," Handy said. "We are offering tools to help individuals make the best decisions to manage and for some, prevent this disease."
In the past, the hospital has offered individual counseling as patients have been diagnosed and referred.
For many, the cost has been a hindrance, so it was decided a class setting may allow more diabetic and pre-diabetic patients to obtain the assistance and counseling they need at a reduced cost.
"A number of individuals and families need this necessary information, but health insurance does not always cover the expenses of individualized counseling," Downen said.
Following the receipt of grant assistance through the Putnam County Community Foundation, the group class will be offered free of charge for attendees. The next group class will be held on Aug. 4 beginning at 9 a.m. All materials and a sack lunch will be provided. The class will meet in the third floor classroom of Putnam County Hospital.
Those wishing to participate may enroll in the class by calling Putnam County Hospital's Central Scheduling at 658-2760.
"Diabetes can be prevented or delayed," Handy said.
"Be proactive. 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," Downen said.
Additional support is available for families that have children living with diabetes. The hospital hosts a monthly Youth Diabetes Support Group on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. on the third floor for such families.
To learn more about the group classes, contact Handy at 655-2583, ext. 1.