Emphasis is on early intervention and patient education
The Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute’s new Diabetes Center is dedicated to assisting patients in effectively managing this chronic and often debilitating disease.
The free-standing 9,000-square-foot facility, which opened in September, houses a multidisciplinary team of endocrinologists, diabetes educators, dietitians, nurse practitioners and a podiatrist. Endocrinologist Robert Zimmerman, MD, leads the team.
“This new center consolidates Cleveland Clinic’s main campus diabetes specialists under one roof to help people with diabetes live longer and healthier lives,” says Dr. Zimmerman, who holds the Patricia and Louis Fodor Endowed Chair for Endocrinology Research and Education. “Our aim is to ensure that newly diagnosed diabetics have the tools they need to manage their disease from the onset and to decrease their risk of developing diabetes-related complications. We want them to experience a better quality of life.”
According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 24 million U.S. adults and children, or 7.8 percent of the total population, have diabetes; 5.7 million of those cases are undiagnosed. Another 57 million people have pre-diabetes. Nationally, diabetes and diabetes-related care costs our healthcare system $174 billion each year.
“Early and proper intervention is essential to treating – and possibly reducing – the levels of diabetes in this country,” says Dr. Zimmerman. “Educating the patient about the importance of implementing lifestyle changes is an essential component of our treatment plan. Patients who are actively involved in disease management have the most long-term success.”
This approach is backed by research showing that emphasis on good blood sugar control is most effective in treating newly diagnosed diabetes patients.
Education is a core component of the new Diabetes Center. Staff members host individual and group classes, conduct retina screenings and feature leading-edge glucose monitoring technology. Through the center, patients learn how to monitor glucose regularly and adjust insulin doses as needed. They also learn to detect diabetes-related complications – all in an attempt to achieve a healthier quality of life.
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