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Ralph H. Johnson Diabetes Education Service Merits

Diabetes Educator Cheryl Pratt instructs Veteran Dewayne Patterson how to use of his insulin pump. Photo by James Arrowood.
Diabetes Educator Cheryl Pratt instructs Veteran Dewayne Patterson how to use of his insulin pump. Photo by James Arrowood.

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Diabetes Self-Management Education Service (DSMES) located at the main hospital in downtown Charleston has been awarded continued Recognition from the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

 DSMES was originally recognized in September of 2012 for offering high-quality education services to Veterans.

The ADA Education Recognition effort began in the fall of 1986, is a voluntary process which assures that approved education services have met the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Services.  Services that achieve Recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide state-of-the-art information about diabetes management for patients.

Self-management education is an essential component of diabetes treatment.  One consequence of compliance with the National Standards is the greater consistency in the quality and quantity of education offered to people with diabetes.  The patients in an ADA Recognized service are taught, as needed, self-care skills that promote better management of their diabetes treatment regimen.  All approved education services develop individualized participant education plans that include any of the following topics as needed: diabetes disease process; nutritional management; physical activity; medications; monitoring; preventing, detecting, and treating acute complications; preventing, detecting, and treating, chronic complications through risk reduction; goal setting and problem solving; psychological adjustment; and preconception care, management during pregnancy, and gestational management.

Assuring high-quality education for patients’ self-care is one of the primary goals of the ADA Education Recognition Program (ERP). Through the support of the health care team and increased knowledge and awareness of diabetes, the patient with diabetes can assume a major part of the responsibility for their diabetes management.  Unnecessary hospital admissions and some of the acute and chronic complications of diabetes may be prevented through self-management education. The process also gives professionals national standards by which to measure the quality of the services they provide.  

For more information on the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Diabetes Self-Management Education Service, contact Pam Mazza, APRN, CDE, BC-ADM, at 843-789-7025

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