Last updated 6:44PM ET
January 19, 2018
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Pocahontas diabetes program got early start
(wvmr) - Recent articles in the Charleston Gazette describe a renewed emphasis in West Virginia on diabetes prevention. Federal health officials and their state counterparts are urging the implementation of a group education and coaching program in areas without such a program.

Pocahontas County is not one of those areas. In fact, thanks to some far-sighted local health officials, Pocahontas and Randolph counties are more than a decade ahead in the fight against diabetes. Pocahontas Memorial Hospital operations officer and nurse Terry Wagner explains.

"We actually have been doing this program and had the recognition of the American Diabetes Association for about 14 years now," she said. "We started the program here at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital - we actually had our CEO and hospital board, at the time, made the commitment to pursue this. And I am a certified diabetes educator and we began the program with the help of myself and Eloise Hollen, a dietician and certified diabetes educator from Davis Memorial. We worked together to jointly provide the program at both hospitals."

Wagner is happy to see a similar program, the National Diabetes Prevention Program, the NDPP, being implemented around the state.

"We are very pleased that the CDC and the Diabetes Control and Prevention Program has started programs in areas that are not as fortunate as we are here in Pocahontas County to have this. And it's making access to care and diabetes education more available for people all over our state."

Wagner praised the efforts of Gina Wood, director of the West Virginia Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, to implement the NDPP in areas of need statewide. Wagner says the local program, known as B-N-Charge, covers all the areas of the NDPP.

"And as we know, West Virginia has a lot of diabetes and has a great need," she said. "But we're very fortunate to have a program here that follows all the standards of care and includes all the areas of care that the program does through the CDC."

There is no cure for diabetes, but damage from the disease can be controlled. Also, the onset of Type II diabetes, the most common form, can prevented with lifestyle changes. Call PMH at 304-799-7400 to get more information on diabetes prevention.
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