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The Brunswick County Health Department has announced the North Carolina Diabetes Education Recognition Program has received recognition by the American Diabetes Association and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has awarded the state a three-year grant of $125,000 per year to hire a second registered dietitian to help expand the program.
The American Diabetes Association recognition will enable the health department to bill for Diabetes Self Management Education services.
“We are so grateful for the support, encouragement and hard work of the pilot counties, advisory committee and program staff,” said Laura Edwards, state coordinator. “We could not have been successful without them.”
Brunswick County was selected as one of five pilot counties to test the educational curriculum and gather data to help complete the application process.
“Achieving American Diabetes Association recognition is costly, time consuming and very hard to successfully complete,” said Don Yousey, health director and originator of the idea. “That is why so few diabetes education programs exist. Now, with this recognition, the program will become one of the services offered by the health department.”
Within the next few years, all health departments across the state will be able to participate. The main reason health departments are the best source for providing the education is that they take all comers regardless of ability to pay, said Yousey.
The grant from Kate B. Reynolds will enable the state to add 10 to 15 more counties onto the program next year with a similar number being added each year after that.
This grant money is viewed as start up money because each participating county will give a percentage of their revenues to the state to sustain the program.
According to the results of the community health assessment, diabetes is one of the top five health concerns in Brunswick County. Offering education in self-management of diabetes is the health department's attempt to help decrease the incidence of diabetes related illnesses in the county.