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Diabetes Education Center

Over the past eighteen months there have been many changes at the Central Okanagan Diabetes Program (our name is one). The most significant change is related to program flow and patient education.

The program format is designed with the objective of having newly diagnosed patients seen in the clinic within two weeks of receipt of the referral, assuming that the patient is available for the offered group session.

One of the program objectives states “Diabetes Education is equally accessible across the community”. To achieve this goal, we have added two program sites, the Westbank Health Centre, on Mondays and Wednesdays and the May Bennett Centre in Rutland, on Thursdays and Fridays.

Patients living in surrounding areas can now obtain diabetes education services closer to home. This makes access much easier for those who no longer drive or prefer to not go into central Kelowna. The addition of these sites also helps to relieve some of the congestion and space problems at the Cottonwoods site. Another added feature is Tuesday evening hours at the Cottonwoods site. At each of the sites and during all program hours, we offer both individual appointments and group sessions.

Staffing has been increased. The clinic now has a designated Coordinator. Dietitian and nursing staff have been increased. The dietitians are Jean Vanderhorst, Pat Munro and Sheila Wardle. The nursing staff consists of Barbara Marshall, Cathy Wilson and Julie Loverin. Sue Wolfe is the program clerk.

Patients are encouraged to take responsibility for their diabetes as diabetes is a “self managed” chronic disease. Self-referrals and referrals from all Health Care Professionals are encouraged and accepted at the clinic. Diabetes requires regular assessment related to control of all the risk factors contributing to the complications of diabetes. Patients are informed of the need to be aware of their lab results and to obtain regular assessment related to blood sugar control, BP control, lipid levels & microalbuminuria.

Appointment bookings and referrals are done by the clerk at the Cottonwoods site (2255 Ethel St). Please call (250) 862-4429 to make an appointment or obtain further info.

By Joan Erickson, RN BSN CDE, Coordinator Diabetes Program

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