Diabetes classes to begin at Russellville Hospital

By Staff
Melissa Dozer-Cason, FCT Writer
Russellville Hospital plans to begin presenting diabetes education classes next month.
Certified Nurse Practitioner and Diabetes Educator Tammi Green will host Russellville's first Diabetes Education class on Monday, February 19.
Green has held a similar program at Northwest Medical Center in Winfield for seven years and will begin expanding services in Haleyville and Russellville with the help of nutritionist and diabetes educator Angie Long.
"We need to get as many diabetics as possible in these classes so that they can learn how to manage their diabetes effectively," Green said.
The classes are designed to teach diabetics how to properly eat, monitor their blood sugar and understand the importance of successfully managing blood sugar Green said.
Green said she has seen the impact of unmanaged diabetes in many lives.
"We have one patient who is in his thirties who had both his legs amputated because of complications of diabetes," Green said.
While there are serious health risks associated with diabetes, these risks can be minimized by proper diabetes management.
"Most diabetics don't understand the importance of effective eating in conjunction with insulin therapy," Green said.
One success story for Green is Sharlie Turpin. She came to Green when her AC1 levels were averaging 12, which is very high. Turpin is a type one, insulin-dependent diabetic, and had several miscarriages as a result of her diabetic condition, Green said.
"All she really wanted was to have a baby but was told that she could not because of her diabetes," Green said.
But, Turpin was able to have a baby while learning to manage her diabetes.
"Sharlie had a beautiful baby girl, and her AC1 level was 6.2 when she was born," Green said.
Turpin is still insulin dependent because of her diabetes type, but she now has control of her condition and of her life.
"Sharlie is just one example of how effective diabetes management can change lives forever," Green said.
All area diabetics are strongly urged to attend. Most diabetics will need to attend about two classes to effectively learn to manage their condition, Green said.
"Right now it's a no commitment period in Russellville," Green said. "No one will be expected to pay for services if they don't have insurance or if their carrier refuses to pay for these services."
Everyone who wishes to attend should contact Pam Taylor at 256-332-7514 to get signed up as soon as possible.

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