University Hospital & Clinics becomes a Medicare Certified Diabetes Self-Management Education program through AADE-Accreditation


University Hospital & Clinics (UHC) was recently named an accredited diabetes education program by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), a National Accredited Organization (NAO), certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This will allow people with diabetes in and around Lafayette increased access to high-quality diabetes education services.

Diabetes education is a collaborative process through which people with, or at risk of, diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related conditions. The program is comprehensive and taught by diabetes educators who have extensive training.

According to the CDC, Lafayette Parish has 18,540 people with diagnosed diabetes, and 7,026 of those diabetic patients are treated at UHC. 

These patients need access to other services, such as eye and foot exams, to help manage their condition. UHC’s trained diabetes educators work with patients and refer them to a primary care physician at UHC for continuity in care. Worth noting, UHC has an eye clinic that provides eye exams to diabetic patients, a population that is more at risk of serious eye problems due to complications from the disease.

“We strive to educate and empower members of the community with self-management skills to achieve individualized behavioral and treatment goals to ultimately restore, maintain, and improve their health outcomes,” said UHC Diabetes Quality Coordinator Sarah Kirkpatrick.

Trained diabetes educators at UHC provide interactive classes on how to make lifestyle changes to avoid complications of diabetes and how to better manage the short-term and long-term effects it can have on the body. The accredited diabetes education program at UHC is a pilot for the health system.

“Achieving this accreditation is a milestone for our community. We are so excited to be able to offer this much-needed service to the patients we serve and to have our program accredited. Educating patients on their disease process, medication management and providing them with the access to care needed will certainly improve outcomes. This is one of the many remarkable programs offered at University Hospital & Clinics,” added UHC CEO Katie Hebert.

 “AADE’s accreditation assures that an accredited program meets the national standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support.  Programs who meet this criteria are considered high quality and have been shown to improve the health status of the individuals who embrace the education and help to modify sometimes unhealthy behaviors, or simply provide the education that the person with diabetes has not previously received,” said Leslie E. Kolb, RN, BSN, MBA, Accreditation Director for the Diabetes Education Accreditation Program.  “UHC is exactly the type of program we envisioned when we set up our accreditation in 2009.”

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