The Diabetes Education Program at Norwalk Hospital provides education to people with diabetes so that they can learn to better manage their diabetes. By increasing their knowledge about the disease and promoting self-management, a person with diabetes will be able to better control blood sugar and prevent acute and chronic complications, according to Barbara Nadolny RN, BSN, CDE, coordinator of Diabetes Education.

Diabetes is growing at epidemic proportions. According to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million Americans have diabetes and each year 1.6 million people 20 or older are diagnosed with diabetes. Many first learn that they have it when they are treated for complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness or nerve damage. Through education and self-management a person with diabetes can learn to control the disease, which will reduce the risk of getting diabetes related complications.

The American Diabetes Association has recognized Norwalk Hospital's Outpatient Diabetes Education Program as a quality diabetes self-management program. It is a comprehensive program with both individual and group sessions. Sessions are provided by certified diabetes educators that are registered nurses or registered dietitians. The program begins with an individual one-hour initial assessment followed by group or individual classes. Group classes are available in the day or evening hours.

"Diabetes is a controllable disease," said Nadolny. "People can learn to control their diabetes and we can help. Our goal is to provide quality education to people with diabetes and to promote self-management and participation in personal health."

For more information about the Norwalk Hospital Diabetes Education Program, call 203-852-2181. Norwalk Hospital Diabetes Self-Management Education is a certified provider for Medicare and many other insurance companies.