Mission: Improve patients’ quality of life
To meet the dramatically increasing need for high-quality diabetes care, Cleveland Clinic is establishing a comprehensive Center for Diabetes, scheduled to open later this year.
The multidisciplinary center will include specialists from endocrinology working with nurse practitioners, dietitians and certified diabetes educators. It will leverage Cleveland Clinic’s excellence in the treatment of heart and kidney disease, obesity and other specialties closely linked with diabetes. The Center for Diabetes also will bolster relationships with the existing Lennon Diabetes Center at Huron Hospital and the Lakewood Hospital Diabetes and Endocrine Center as well as work with other programs within the health system.
The design of the Center for Diabetes includes exam rooms, a dedicated research space and areas for educational programs. One exam room will house a fundus camera for eye exams, a core component of ongoing diabetes care. A fundus or retinal camera is a specialized low-power microscope with an attached camera. It is used for diagnosing or monitoring certain eye conditions. Plans also include a demonstration kitchen to teach healthy cooking practices that will guide participants in accommodating their dietary needs.
Education, Research and Early Care
With a mission to help more people achieve and maintain control of their diabetes, thereby improving their quality of life, the center will include enhanced diabetes education services for patients and medical professionals, comprehensive patient care, and an expanded laboratory and clinical research program focused on diabetes causes, prevention and treatment.
The center is an initiative of the Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute, chaired by James Young, MD, who holds the George M. and Linda H. Kaufman Endowed Chair. It will be under the direction of Robert Zimmerman, MD, who holds the Patricia and Louis Fodor Endowed Chair for Endocrinology Research and Education, with the leadership of Laurence Kennedy, MD, FRCP, Chairman of the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism within the Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute.
Dr. Kennedy says the center will encourage patients with diabetes to seek help from endocrinologists much sooner in their care than is currently the standard.
“There is a tendency for patients with diabetes to not be referred to endocrinologists until late in their disease,” he notes. “My aim is for us to see more newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes, perhaps for a limited time, to make sure they are on the right track in their care and then return them to their primary care doctors.”
Studies show that emphasizing good control of blood sugar is most effective in newly diagnosed patients, Dr. Kennedy says. “We need to turn people’s thinking around and get diabetes patients specialty care sooner.”
An extensive patient education and outreach program will serve as the cornerstone of the center. Trained diabetes educators will help individuals in all aspects of diabetes management, including blood glucose monitoring, exercise, stress management and avoiding diabetes-related health complications. They also will update patients on the latest research and its impact on their care, and advise them about community resources.
To make a gift supporting the Center for Diabetes, the Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute or any area of Cleveland Clinic, visit our secure online giving site, or call Institutional Relations and Development at 216.444.1245 or toll-free at 800.223.2273, ext. 41245.