New Jersey Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett will visit and tour Saint Peter’s Healthcare System today, World Diabetes Day (Nov. 14), to highlight the importance of screenings and early intervention in managing the disease. Saint Peter’s is offering free screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, hemoglobin A1c, body mass index measurement (BMI) and nutrition counseling to mark the day. Remarks will be given by Commissioner Bennett and Ronald C. Rak, CEO of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, at 11 a.m.
“From mobile screenings and self-management classes to care delivered in FQHCs, Saint Peter’s is pairing patients with diabetes prevention and treatment services that will better help them live with the disease and avoid complications,” Commissioner Bennett said.
While the rate of new diabetes cases in the United States has begun to fall, these figures are still very high. More than 29 million Americans are living with diabetes, and 86 million are living with prediabetes, which increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Nearly 627,000 New Jersey adults have diabetes, representing an estimated 9 percent of the population, according to the 2015 New Jersey Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. About 2,050 New Jersey residents died from diabetes in 2014, and nearly all were adults.
Information and education on the Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Diabetes Self-Management program and Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP) Diabetes-Hypertension Center as well as Community Mobile Health, Wound Care and Ambulatory services will be featured at the event, which will be held at 254 Easton Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901 in the Sister Marie de Pazzi Conference Center (Rooms 1, 4 and 5). DSRIP is a demonstration program designed to result in better care for individuals (including access to care, quality of care, health outcomes), better health for the population, and lower costs by transitioning hospital funding to a model where payment is contingent on achieving health improvement goals.
In addition to education and screenings offered to recognize World Diabetes Day, a diabetes self-management education class will be held at the hospital from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 4th floor of the CARES building in the Department of Medicine.
The Department of Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program works to reduce the impact of diabetes by increasing awareness of the disease and its complications, improving quality of care and access to care, and developing partnerships that increase community involvement to address diabetes issues.
In fiscal year 2017, the Department of Health’s Family Health Services Division awarded three grants totaling nearly $500,000 to:
- Three professional trade organizations to serve as Diabetes Resources Coordination Centers and help providers refer patients to community-based programs ($235,553)
- Six Federally Qualified Health Centers to enhance electronic health records and information technology ($81,688)
- NJ 2-1-1 (the statewide non-emergency, information call center and website) to promote diabetes self-management education and lifestyle change workshops ($148,500)
In addition, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired - Diabetic Eye Disease Detection Program (DEDD) within the Department of Human Services was awarded $125,000 to increase access to free dilated eye examinations for uninsured or underinsured residents with diabetes.
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