Health Care News, Uncategorized

National Diabetes Month: New Prevention and Oral Health Resources

2.7 million health center patients have diabetes.

With approximately 35.6% of all Community Health Center patients struggling with diabetes, it’s important to shine a spotlight on some useful resources available for health centers, including NACHC’s cutting-edge Healthy Together program launching this month. In honor of November’s National Diabetes Month, we invite you to learn more about these and other resources available to help your patients control their diabetes.

NACHC’s New and Cutting-Edge Diabetes Control Program: Healthy Together

Healthy Together is a new lifestyle change program launched by NACHC’s Quality Center. Supported through funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), this pilot is designed to improve the impact of diabetes prevention and control efforts with the unique use of technology and at-home patient care tools, in combination with lifestyle coaching offered by trained health center staff.

Healthy Together is offered through a unique partnership between NACHC, the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES), Wellocity (CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program platform), three state PCAs/HCCNs and a cohort of twelve health centers.

Healthy Together follows the CDC-approved curriculum for people with or at-risk for diabetes; targeting healthy eating, physical activity, and stress management. What makes NACHC’s new program truly innovative are the self-care tools given to patients for use in the virtual care environment.

Trained health center Lifestyle Coaches teach patients to use self-care tools, collect data, and track their progress. Coaches will also screen for social needs and connect patients with services/interventions and provide care management and diabetes prevention and control skills.

Beyond these exciting patient investments, the whole-person approach to Healthy Together invites family or support members to participate. In other words, patients and their families are given the skills and tools needed to improve their health together.

Great Resources for Diabetes Care in 2021

For all health centers, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) site offers instant access to the newest guidelines and tools for diabetes management, and NIDDK’s National Diabetes Month 2021 website provides useful and easy-to-read resources.

Oral Health and Diabetes

Health centers can also consider the systemic connections between diabetes and oral health. Health professionals can educate at-risk patients with handy Fact sheets from Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (ONEP) in English and Spanish, which show patients how problems like gum disease, dry mouth and oral thrush are linked to diabetes and can be treated.

We know health centers focus on diabetes care every month, but this month, NACHC is pleased to shine a spotlight on the exciting new Healthy Together initiative. Keep an eye out for updates.