Living Long, Healthy And Productive Lives With Diabetes
Nearly 30 million people in the nation have diabetes, and here at Memorial Health System (MHS) we have a diabetes team that has a passion to not only help those who are diagnosed with diabetes, but to help prevent patients from getting the disease. MHS has become a vital resource and strives to give those who have diabetes the opportunity to live long, healthy and productive lives.
According to the American Diabetes Association, in addition to nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. who have diabetes, another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
The national average of patients with diabetes is 9.3 percent, but in the Mid-Ohio Valley we average 10-12 percent. Some people may not be aware they have diabetes because it can take from 10 to 20 years for complications to develop. The Diabetes Education Center provides education and training to those who are diagnosed with diabetes and those who are at risk for developing the disease.
“We do see patients with pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is that gray area when a person is not diagnosed with diabetes but has an elevated fasting blood sugar between 101-125 mg/dl,” said Kathy Reis, program coordinator, Diabetes Education Center. “We educate these patients as if they have diabetes. Prevention is the key.”
MHS has an advanced diabetes team composed of an administrative assistant, four registered nurses, a dietitian and two endocrinologists. Our highly experienced diabetes specialists offer comprehensive care through education, lifestyle and nutritional modification, group and individual counseling, support groups and weight management.
The two endocrinologists, Dr. Puneetpal Bains and Dr. Nicholas Mezitis, were recently added to our team. Dr. Bains completed his medical degree at Saba University School of Medicine and finished his endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism fellowship at State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. Dr. Mezitis graduated from Heidelberg University Medical School in Germany and then completed two residencies and three fellowships including a research fellowship in diabetes and metabolism at St. Luke’s/ Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University in New York. They will be a great addition to our team, offering their expertise in diabetes and bringing their passion for helping others.
“I like working with the patients and having them call us when they’re excited about their hemoglobin A1C going from 12 percent to 6 percent,” Kathy said. “As a nurse and a person living with diabetes, wanting to help people and support them to improve their health is what it’s all about.”
American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Education Recognition Certificate for a Quality Diabetes Self-Management Education Program was awarded to our Diabetes Education Center for the period of July 18, 2014 - July 18, 2018. The ADA believes that this program offers high-quality education that is an essential component of diabetes management. The Association’s Education Recognition Certificate assures that educational programs meet the national standards for diabetes self-management education programs.
With ADA recognition, the Diabetes Center has three expansion sites offering diabetes education services including Dr. Alan Spencer’s office in Caldwell, Ohio, Dr. Puneetpal Bains’ office at the Wayne Street Medical Campus and Dr. Nicholas Mezitis’ office at the Belpre Medical Campus. Our diabetes education team also provides nurse visits at Dr. David Pickering’s office in Williamstown, West Virginia. Dr. Pickering is certified in adult diabetes management.
Diabetes education is an integral component in the care of patients. Our Diabetes Education Center is committed to providing those living with diabetes, their families and significant others with ready access to education, services and information. Our goal is to reduce the risk of short and long-term complications that may develop from diabetes. Education and self-management will give patients control of their diabetes, allowing them to live and lead healthy lifestyles.
To learn more about our Diabetes Education Center, call us at (740) 568-1702. To access our services, a referral from the patient’s physician is required. Appointments are required for all sessions.