SOMC Offers Diabetes Education Program

Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently awarded a $200,000 grant by the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Healthy Ohio/Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction.

The funds will be used toward the implementation of a Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, created to provide immediate access to lifestyle education for people in Scioto County with type 2 diabetes.

“The overwhelming majority of patients diagnosed with diabetes are type 2,” Dr. Phillip Roberts, family practice physician at SOMC, said. “A smaller percentage of patients present as type 1 and an even smaller percentage present with a mixture between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, the incidence of type 2 diabetes is on the rise.”

A native to Portsmouth and a local physician, Dr. Roberts, takes a special interest in diabetes. He trained at Southern Ohio Medical Center and with Dr. Deeb, a former SOMC endocrinologist. His intense training to treat diabetes from an endocrinologist perspective has made him comfortable and knowledgeable of the disease.

“I will be involved in educating the participants of the Diabetes Prevention and Control program,” he said. “During the medication portion of the session, I will explain the different types of medications and insulin options that are available at this time. This will include their benefits, common side effects and the ways that each individual medication works to improve the diabetes process.”

He added, “If patients have a good understanding of the treatments and medications their physician puts them on, they tend to take a more active role in their care.”

Dr. Roberts explained that part of the treatment of diabetes is to comprehend what your body is going through. Nutritional needs, weight loss through diet and exercise, life style changes and prescribed medical therapies are crucial to the treatment of diabetes. He says that the new prevention program will emphasize this importance and provide participants with a key advantage.

“We want to ensure that the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program participants have all the resources necessary to successfully manage the disease on their own once the program is complete,” Jill Preston, workforce development manager at SOMC, said. “Not only will this include one-on-one education time with clinical dieticians, exercise physiologists and diabetes experts, but we will also provide them with many resources to help better manage their diabetes.”

The program will be offered at four locations throughout the county and will be held in conjunction with the Portsmouth City Health Department, the Scioto County Health Department, the Family Health Care Center, Community Action Organization and Shawnee Mental Health. Physician referral for participation is required.

For more information about the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, please speak with your primary care physician or contact the SOMC Diabetes Education Department at 356-2627.

Dr. Roberts is located at SOMC’s Wheelersburg Family Practice, 613 Center Street, Wheelersburg and is currently accepting new patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 574-0529.