MMH earns top ratings for Diabetic Program

Margaretville Memorial Hospital continues to earn top ratings for its Diabetic Program. Last May, Margaretville’s Family Health Centers were ranked number two among 15 nationwide participants in the Diabetic Program.
Judy Bailey, RN, director of quality management at MMH, was among those who helped establish the grant-based program. She explained that the Diabetic Program has been focused on Family Health Center patients at Margaretville and Roxbury who are undergoing treatment for issues related to diabetes.
“Currently, patients begin attending the educational classes upon the recommendation of their physician. Our goal is to open it to everyone,” Mrs. Bailey explained.
Classes include topics related to diet, monitoring, exercise, symptom management and other information designed to help patients lead a healthy lifestyle.
“Through this program, our physicians, staff and patients are working together to improve the quality of life and medical care for patients living with diabetes,” she noted.
The hospital would like to offer this program to students via visits to local schools.
“This will be a preventative program in which we teach children about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating habits.
“The occurrence of diabetes in our population is increasing dramatically and obesity is the number one factor leading to diabetes,” commented Mrs. Bailey in explaining the importance of getting this message across to children.

Top ratings
The ratings for the program were based on the program meeting three quality indicators:
• achieving a score of seven or less for blood test glucose markers;
• blood pressure readings of 130/80 or less;
• cholesterol readings of 100 or less.
In January 2008, the MMH program again scored well, being one of the top four participants to consistently achieve these goals.
“Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are occurring in epidemic proportions across the United States and occur in similar proportion in the area in which we live,” Mrs. Bailey stated. “The federal government, in an effort to evaluate and address these health concerns, has offered grants to assist health care providers in enhancing the quality and effectiveness of the medical and educational support provided to patients living with these conditions.”
In a joint effort, the Kingston Hospital and Margaretville Memorial Hospital applied and received grant funding to assist the Margaretville and Roxbury Family Health Centers in focusing on diabetes care and education. Fourteen other health facilities across the United States also received this funding.
Diabetes training and education for staff and patients is being provided by The Kingston Hospital Diabetes Education Center at the Margaretville Hospital site through the technology of teleconferencing. Seven Diabetes Education Classes have been held to date for patients from the Roxbury and Margaretville Family Health Centers. Patients who are newly diagnosed and those who have lived with the disease for longer periods have attended. Participants have reported finding the sessions informative and helpful in providing information about the newest and most important diabetes details.
In 2008, MMH is introducing cardiovascular disease education, with a health care provision focus, in additional to diabetes care and education. Emphasis is being placed on promoting normal blood pressure, cholesterol and lipid levels through healthy eating habits, exercise and stress reduction in the prevention aspect of the effort.
Through physician and health care staff support, management of patients affected by cardiovascular disease can help these patients to improve the quality of their lives through improved health practices.
Mrs. Bailey credited Dr. Susan Fiore “for championing and helping set up the program,” as well as staff members Dr. Jaikumar Ravunniarath, Dr. Frank Sievert and Dr. Maya Hambright for their commitment to the program.
She also credited the staff members at the family health centers, led by managers Norika Zellner and Melony Lee for their diligence in making the program a success.
“Prediction, prevention and practice of the most current standards of cardiovascular care are the goals of the program,” Mrs. Bailey stated.
She added, “I’m really proud of our staff because they took this seriously. We are very proud of what they’ve achieved.”
In addition, staff wish to thank Miller's and CVS Pharmacy for their donations of equipment, supplies and support in establishing this program.