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Area hospital to offer diabetes classes

Thursday, August 26, 2010

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, RN, 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.," Handy said. "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 may 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 take place Sept. 2, and the second session, nutrition education, will take place Sept. 9.

Both classes begin at 9 a.m., and last until noon.

The second series will begin Sept. 16, and be offered from 1-4 p.m.

Two series will take place 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," Downen added.

Patients may save an additional $5 by pre-registering for the class prior to the meeting.

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 1-765-658-2760 to enroll.

"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 added.

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 or the support group, contact Handy at 1-765-655-2583 Ext. 1.

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