Gwinnett Medical announced $100K grant for diabetes education

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett Medical Center has announced a large grant that will help fund its new program to help educate "underserved" diabetes patients.

The $100,000 donation from Cisco will aid the hospital's Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center in helping patients understand and leanr how to best manage their diabetes.

"Access to quality health care is integral to thriving communities," Renee Byrd-Lewis, Cisco's community relations director, said in a news release. "Providing underserved patients the skills and knowledge to effectively manage diabetes, thereby avoiding complications, benefits us all and ultimately leads to an increased quality of life, which is critical in these times of economic distress."

Gwinnett Medical Center's programs, which began in the last several weeks, present patients with the causes and complications of type-2 diabetes, nutrition and lifestyle management tips, and depression and stress education. Courses include an individual assessment with a diabetes educator and seven hours of education in a classroom setting.

Follow-up appointments at four and eight months after also offered to monitor patient progress.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under 10 percent of Georgia had diabetes in 2009, compared to only about 6 percent a decade earlier.

"Multiple factors like inactivity and obestiy have led to increasing rates of our population newly diagnosed with diabetes," said Cris Hartley, manager of the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center. "However, with proper management and appropriate lifestyle changes, a person with diabetes can continue to lead a healthy, productive life."

Diabetes classes are available at GMC's campuses in Duluth and Lawrenceville. For more information, call 678-312-6040 or visit www.gwinnettmedicalcenter.org.