HGH Achieves Diabetes Education Accreditation

Humboldt General Hospital's Dietary and Nutrition Services Department recently received some good news.

Last month, the department's "Living Well with Diabetes" education program was accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

The designation will allow residents in and around Humboldt County increased access to critical diabetes education services.

According to HGH Dietary and Nutrition Services Director Tiffani Nalivka, diabetes education is a collaborative process in which people with or at risk for diabetes gain the knowledge and skills they need to modify their behavior for maximum health.

"We're thrilled with this designation and with the ability we now have to connect our patients with the education they need to successfully self-manage diabetes and its related conditions," said Nalivka.

The director said she did not initially anticipate how time-intensive the accreditation process would be.

"It was a lot of work," said Nalivka of the year-long process. But she and Licensed Dietitian Annie Drake, who she credits with shouldering a fair share of the load, are certainly thrilled with the outcome.

"This program is going to be a great addition to our community."

In preparation for HGH's interview, Nalivka and Drake had to prepare all program materials and policies as well as assemble an advisory board that will meet each year to monitor the program's quality.

Nalivka was nervous for the final interview, but she said her fears quickly eased when the AADE representative asked if HGH had offered the program previously.

"They thought we were bringing back a program instead of creating a new one because our programming and our policies were so good," said Nalivka.

She added, "That was really a pat on the back to know that our information is that solid."

"Living Well with Diabetes" is an 8-week, comprehensive education program that will be delivered to diabetes patients on a one-and-one and small-group basis.

The program is covered by most insurances; for those who don't have insurance, the hospital may be able to provide financial assistance.

Classes will begin in January 2014 and will be offered quarterly. Educational topics will include disease risks, monitoring blood sugar, creating meal plans, remaining active, managing medications and more.

"Living with a chronic condition can be very challenging," said Nalivka, "so our goal is to help people create a self-management plan that will help them truly live well."

Humboldt General Hospital will need to re-accredit as a diabetes education program every four years, and submit a status report each year in between.

The hospital is now compiling a waiting list for its "Living Well with Diabetes" education program. For more information or to reserve a spot for the January 2014 start date, please contact Nalivka at (775) 623-5222, ext. 1756 or via email at nalivkat@hghospital.ws.