Diabetes education classes offered at St. Vincent’s

Published 3:14 pm Thursday, October 3, 2019

By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

St. Vincent’s Chilton in Clanton offers many different services to patients, from physical therapy to emergency treatment.

Among those offerings is a diabetes education class.

Registered nurse Angela Glass helps lead the class, which is offered at different St. Vincent’s locations across central Alabama.

“We are based out of Birmingham,” Glass said. “We do a diabetes education program there. We started it in 1995. We have held classes since then. We also do individual consultations. I am a nurse, and we have a dietitian. We travel and do classes in all the St. Vincent’s facilities. We are hopefully trying to make it more convenient for people who live in more rural areas. We started coming out here (St. Vincent’s Chilton) a little less than a year ago.”

Glass said both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are covered in the sessions, which offer those affected by the diseases information on the maladies.

“We talk about what diabetes is, symptoms and how to take care of it through nutrition, exercise and medication,” she said. “We talk about promoting long-term health and having good control. We teach people how to check their blood sugar. We don’t want them to have complications that can be associated with high blood sugar. It is a more modern approach to talk about prevention. They used to wait until people had more issues with high blood sugar, and they tried to deal with the complications. We try to prevent those and help people live healthy lives up front.”

Glass said there is a cost to attend the classes, but Medicare and most insurance companies will cover it.

“You have to have a physician referral,” she said. “We have a form we can fax to the physician’s office. Medicare and most insurance companies require that for reimbursement.”

Glass currently comes to Clanton once every other month due to class sizes and need.

“We had five people today,” she said of her latest visit on Sept. 24. “Anywhere from one to five people has been typical here so far. We are somewhere on other days. We like to keep classes smaller, so people can get more individualized help, but we’d like to make more people out here (in Chilton County) aware our service is offered. We are recognized by the American Diabetes Association. We have to meet certain requirements. You have to be in practice for years to receive that designation.”

Glass said the class will return sometime in November but could become monthly if more people joined.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 205-939-7248.