Clarise Largen above is a certified diabetes educator for La Porte Hospital.
Expanding their network of community health providers, La Porte Hospital now offers diabetes education and medical nutrition therapy in Michigan City, in addition to their offices in Starke County and La Porte. Located in the Lifeworks Building (377 North Frontage Rd., Suite 100), the program is designed to help any individual struggling with diabetes, pre-diabetes, and related health issues to feel empowered and control of their health.
The comprehensive program is led by three certified diabetes educators: Clarise Largen, BSN, R.N., CDE; Stephanie Thomas, CD, RD, CDE; and Rose Flinchum, CNS, CDE, ACNS-BC, BC-ADM.
Anyone who has diabetes or is at risk for diabetes, or who needs general nutrition therapy to manage kidney disease, obesity, special nutritional needs, and more is welcome to join the La Porte Hospital diabetes education team for group classes and/or individual appointments. The series of classes takes place on the first four Wednesdays of each month from 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Registration is required and the program is covered by most insurance companies.
Largen said the need for these services is more crucial than some might assume.
“For instance, people don’t always realize that pre-diabetes is something to worry about,” she said. “It’s a good thing to catch, and we help people achieve that here.”
Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not necessarily high enough to qualify as a diabetes diagnosis. However, it can be an indicator of serious health problems to come. The good news is, most people with prediabetes can actually reverse the course of the pending illness with proper weight and nutrition management and by leading a healthier lifestyle. The La Porte Hospital diabetes program is designed to help with that. The program also, of course, offers expert care for those who have already been diagnosed with Type I or Type II diabetes and need to manage their disease effectively. Certified diabetes educators and clinical dietitians work closely with patients and their doctors to keep patients on a healthy track.
Appointments to learn about risk factors for diabetes and to help manage pre-diabetes are available upon request. A physician order is not necessary.
Individual appointments for diabetes self-management or medical nutrition therapy require a physician order, as do the self-management classes. Largen said that shouldn’t stop anyone from looking into the program.
“Sometimes people don’t want to explore the options we offer because they don’t want to go through their doctor,” Largen said. “We can secure the orders for them if they call ahead of time.”
Since branching off into Michigan City, La Porte Hospital has been able to help reach a wider audience in La Porte County with quality health programming designed to improve the health of the community overall.
If you are living with diabetes or require nutritional therapy and are interested in taking charge of your health, call 219-325-7623. For additional information about the course or other locations, visit https://www.laportehealth.com/diabetes-education-services.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, La Porte Hospital also is enrolling individuals in the Center for Disease Control & Prevention's National Diabetes Prevention Program free of charge. This yearlong program will begin in early March. The hospital hopes to attract individuals who are at risk for type 2 diabetes and have not yet been successful in making recommended lifestyle changes. To learn more or sign up for an informational session call a diabetes educator at 219-325-7632 by March 1.