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Diabetes: Regional Diabetes Center offers education classes so clients can learn to live with the disease

Last of three parts

By Maridith Yahl
KyForward reporter

Embedded within St. Elizabeth Physicians in Covington, The Regional Diabetes Center (RDC) offers the only diabetes education classes in Northern Kentucky.

The RDC sees anyone having a physician’s referral, says Kate Moser, MSN, RN, CDCES, Diabetes Education Quality Coordinator. American Diabetes Association (ADA) Education-Certified Diabetes Program, the RDC provides diabetic and endocrinology care.

Kate Moser

“There are so many decisions, every single day, that someone with diabetes has to make and it can be really overwhelming,” says Moser.

The center works with patients who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and diabetes during pregnancy, which is somewhat different than gestational diabetes, she says.

It is hard for newly diagnosed patients to know where to start or the types of changes needed.

“We like to be their first touchpoint, getting them educated, giving them the tools, they need,” says Moser. Individual appointments or group classes are available.

“We run the gamut from someone who has pre-diabetes or is newly diagnosed with type 2, through someone looking for the most advanced technology,” Moser says.

Comprehensive diabetes classes are taught in groups by a Registered Nurse (RN) and Registered Dietitian (RDN). Healthy eating, medication, healthy coping, exercise, healthy problem solving are some topics discussed.

Registered Dietitians offer Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT). In a one-on-one meeting, the RDN works with the client on what the client wants to focus on.

“Meal planning, that’s the number one question we get asked is, ‘what can I eat?’ but it is wildly important,” Moser says.

The RDC is creating a program for those diagnosed with prediabetes. It will be a series of workshops in which clients can pick and choose the topics from which they will benefit the most. Realizing most insurances do not cover this education, Moser plans to make it low-cost.

Receiving their five-year recertification in January from the ADA, the RDC, Moser says, has someone to talk to about anything. There is an exercise physiologist on the staff, four registered dietitians, six registered nurses, of which eight are Certified Diabetes Care Education Specialists (CDCES). The CDCES certification requires an exam and the RN must have taught about living with diabetes over 1000 hours.

“Anyone that you meet within our team is going to be very seasoned and have experience with all different types of people, from all different places in life, with different kinds of concerns and needs,” Moser says.

Plan your meals carefully.

“We want people to know they can reach out anytime they have a change in their circumstance. We really want to be there to support people in the community, to give them information and resources, and make sure that they know what to say to their provider, financial issues, or emotional distress issues, depression, and chronic disease. Those things are certainly linked to diabetes and we want to make sure that they know it is okay to reach out.”

They get a lot of phone calls from those who are uninsured and want to know their options. Moser keeps up on local resources.

“I always encourage them to check with their insurance provider because a lot of them do cover dietitian services for prediabetes,” Moser says. “I’m always saying, I can’t imagine it’s not going to change soon just because the medical costs are two to three times more.”

But Moser knows cost can be a huge barrier for education, so she can direct them to other resources, like the Northern Kentucky Diabetes Coalition, for support groups and resources.

The Kentucky Diabetes Coalition has a resource finder on their website. Search by county to find diabetes classes and support groups near you.

Being able to build a good, trusting relationship with her clients is one thing Moser loves about her job. “Being able to coordinate all those pieces and really meet somebody where we are spending the time talking to them about all of the daily decisions and things that impact their life is really nice,” Moser says. “It stems from just the basic desire to help people, but there’s just something about supporting someone with what can be such a ravaging chronic disease.

“Things have changed so much in this field. Thankfully, we’re just getting better and better but, I think that just maintaining that relationship with your education team can be really important,” Moser says.

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