Did you know: Uninsured individuals with diabetes have 79% fewer physician office visits, but also have 55% more emergency department visits than diabetic individuals who have insurance? (Source: American Diabetes Association)
It is for reasons such as these that Samaritan House is excited to begin offering monthly ‘Diabetes Care Days’ at our Redwood City Clinic. This exciting new program will help empower our patients with the self-management tools and educational resources they need to prevent and control a variety of diabetic issues.
At a special weekend clinic event in January, diabetic patients were screened for complications, provided with medications, and given flu vaccinations. Because individuals with diabetes are more prone to foot problems, a screening station was set up to identify potential issues and instruct patients about how to keep their feet healthy.
Educational classes were also provided by a volunteer dietitian from Sequoia Hospital, who provided one-on-one counseling about what to look for on food labels, how to plan meals, and how to exercise proper portion control.
Samaritan House patient Jeanine Ortiz was one of the individuals taking part in the nutrition classes offered that day. According to Jeanine, she came to Redwood City Clinic a few years ago for help maintaining her high blood pressure, but was informed during her initial visit that she was exhibiting elevated glucose levels and was at-risk of developing diabetes.
“I had no idea that anything was wrong,” says Jeanine. “I was unemployed at the time and didn’t have the money to afford any extra medications, so I knew that I had to do whatever I could to avoid becoming diabetic.”
Fortunately, through weight loss and watching her diet, Jeanine has been able to maintain a normal glucose range. She feels great and is so thankful for the help she received from Samaritan House.
A special thank you to all of our program volunteers for helping provide these very necessary screenings and classes and to Stanford Hospital and Clinics for their financial support! As always, we also extend our sincere appreciation to the Sequoia Healthcare District, which over the past ten years has contributed more than $5 million dollars in support of our Redwood City Health Clinic, and has continued to help us serve a very vulnerable group of residents.
If you are a physician interested in volunteering with the Diabetes Care Program or in either of our medical clinics in San Mateo or Redwood City, please visit our volunteer page to see how you can help!