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Samaritan Announces Fully Accredited Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) Program

Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce the accreditation of its Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) Program through the American Academy of Diabetes Educators as of late October.

This educational program outlines support needed to implement and sustain the coping skills and behaviors patients need to self-manage their diabetes. Samaritan’s program is designed to address the patient’s health beliefs, cultural needs, current knowledge, physical limitations, emotional concerns, family support, financial status, medical history, health literacy, numeracy and other factors that influence each person’s ability to meet the challenges of self-management.

“People living with diabetes may spend approximately 30 to 60 minutes with their doctor annually,” said Teresa Intorcia, Samaritan’s Healthy Lifestyles Diabetes Self-Management Education Program Coordinator and Outpatient Dietitian/Certified Diabetes Educator. “Being able to provide 10 hours of education to patients living with diabetes – and their families – is priceless. It empowers patients to make daily self-management decisions and provide some of their own care.”

Samaritan has developed an evidenced-based program that meets the 10 National Standards of Care for Diabetes and is reimbursable through Medicaid, Medicare and/or other commercial insurance companies. Insurance coverage is critical to patients as they learn to control and maintain their diabetes.

Persons living with diabetes be referred to the DSMES program at these points in their chronic disease journey:

  • at initial diagnosis
  • annually for evaluation of education, nutrition, and emotional needs
  • when a new complication arises that influences self-management (change in health, physical abilities, psychological status, or basic living needs)
  • when transition occurs (newly living alone, change in cognition affecting self-care)

Research has proven that, with the completion of the 10 hours of DSMES, a person living with diabetes can achieve 1% reduction in Hemoglobin A1c. This metric is the three-month average of an individual’s blood sugar control, a 1% drop is significant because it reduces the risk of diabetes problems in the eyes, kidneys or nerves by 37%.

The DSMES Program is administered through Samaritan’s Healthy Lifestyles service, located at 1575 Washington Street in Watertown, within the Samaritan Health and Wellness Plaza.