Memorial Hospital conducted a community health needs assessment, and the data revealed that while Yakima County’s diabetes and obesity rates were higher than the state average, only about 7 percent of their diabetes patients were receiving diabetes education.
In 2013, the hospital implemented the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program curriculum and has already seen almost 60 percent of participants reduce their risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. The hospital also implemented the Diabetes Management Program, which was developed by the Park Nicollet International Diabetes Center. This program serves more than 525 people a year. Additional hospital services include screening events, diabetes support groups and drop-in community fitness programs.
All told, Memorial’s Diabetes Wellness Initiative touches about 9,000 people a year, and it’s working: Both the prevention and management programs are making participants healthier. Memorial has also seen decreases in emergency department visits, hospital readmissions and visits for preventable complications. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross)