The Diabetes Case Management program for Pella Regional Health Center now includes a dedicated diabetes dietitian, Carla McFarland, RD, to educate and support people with diabetes. Nutrition intervention and lifestyle change is paramount to success in gaining control of blood sugars.

Diet and nutrition questions are the most frequently asked question in regard to health concerns for patients working to control their diabetes. McFarland has more than 25 years of dietitian experience, specializing in diabetes for the past 10 years. She also has a certificate of training in child and adolescent obesity, in addition to her work with adult weight management.

The nutrition portion of the program will now serve both the Pella Medical Clinic and Knoxville Family Health Center at 1208 North Lincoln. Group education sessions and support groups will continue. Services also include one-on-one nutrition education and a food topic of the month education session will be open to the general public.

The primary purpose behind the Diabetes Case Management program is to help diabetes patients stabilize and get back to a normal way of life while they control their disease. The program offers individualized care for patients by providing education and medical management to empower diabetics to control their disease. The program benefits those who have just been diagnosed with diabetes and those who want to update their learning about diabetes, or those who have just changed treatment.

“Diabetes is more prevalent now because our general population is aging and people have a very sedentary lifestyle these days,” says Marsha Collins, PA-C, program director for Diabetes Case Management at Pella Medical Clinic. “There has also been increased awareness about diabetes and management of the disease.  The disease and symptoms can be controlled and complications can be avoided.”

In addition to lifestyle modification and medications, many people require aggressive insulin management. Pella Regional’s team of diabetes professionals offer intensive insulin management support in addition to insulin pump education, initiation and management. Insulin pumps can help patients keep their blood glucose levels within target ranges. The pumps deliver rapid- or short-acting insulin 24 hours a day through a catheter placed under the skin.

Along with the expanded services, the program continues to offer the following services:

-One-on-one nurse education

-Disease management with medication management utilizing national protocols from the American Diabetes Association and American College of Endocrinology

-Diabetes Education Classes covering all topics related to self-managing diabetes and goal-setting

-Support Groups for Diabetes and Insulin Pumps

-Home glucose meter training, trouble-shooting and interpretation of glucose trends

-Insulin injection instructions

The Diabetes Case Management program team involves Marsha Collins, PA-C, program coordinator, Michelle Webster, RN, diabetes educator, and Carla McFarland, RD, diabetes dietitian.

In addition, Lori Ellingson, pharmacist, Lisa Kisling, physical therapist, Gina Jansen, LISW, social worker and Dr. Ralph DeHaan, local optometrist, work with the program to educate diabetes patients. They work in conjunction to provide patients with the knowledge and skills to manage their diabetes properly.

Family physicians can help patients with their diabetes or refer people on to the Diabetes Case Management program for more help. To learn more about diabetes, diabetes education, or diabetes case management, call 641-621-2342.

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