DAVENPORT – Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center’s Diabetes Program has been recognized by the National American Diabetes Association for the hospital’s expanded program to effectively combat diabetes.
Sheetal Parikh, the lead clinical dietitian for Heart of Florida who submitted the program for the national honor, said she couldn’t be more pleased the hospital is being recognized.
“To be formally recognized by the American Diabetes Association is a testament to the educational program we have here,’’ Parikh said. “Many people do not find out they have diabetes until they are treated for a life-threatening complication such as heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage or blindness. We want to educate people on the importance of eating healthy, exercising and getting regular check-ups to test for diabetes.’’
Parikh said Heart of Florida’s program is designed to help improve a diabetic person’s self-care skills for better diabetes management.
“That is one of the primary goals of the Education Recognition Program,’’ she said. “Through appropriate self-management, a person might be able to prevent some of the acute and chronic complications of diabetes.’’
The program is open to anyone who is already diagnosed as a type 1 or type 2 diabetic, someone who is a pre-diabetic or is pregnant and has gestational diabetes. A person can be referred by their primary care physician, endocrinologist, or obstetrician if pregnant.
Parikh can also help with the referral process if needed. Her fax number for referrals is (863) 419-2462.
Once the person is accepted into the program, Parikh decides if the patient needs one-on-one sessions or if the group class is a better fit.
The program consists of three classes; one on survival skills, one on medications and one nutrition. The classes are usually offered every Wednesday.
“I like to design individual nutrition plans for each patient,’’ Parikh said. “We try to tailor the program to each person so they are getting information that is pertinent to their situation.’’
If you are interested in taking the classes or just finding out more about the program, please call Parikh at (863) 419-2799. If you are looking for a primary care physician or endocrinologist, please call (844) 634-DOCS (3627) or visit our web site at HeartOfFloridaPhysicianGroup.