WVU Medicine Diabetes Education Center assists patients

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Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 11:16 AM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - The WVU Medicine Diabetes Education Center (DEC) is ADA accredited and works to positively affect the health and wellbeing of those living with the disease through a variety of medical and lifestyle practices.

November is American Diabetes Month, and according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) more than 37 million children and adults have diabetes in the United States.

They estimate in West Virginia more than 15 percent of the adult population have been diagnosed with diabetes and another 45,000 may be unaware they have it.

Patients must be referred by their primary care, endocrinology, inpatient, or emergency medicine provider to receive services.

For Dominick Barbetta, 66, from Clarksville, Pennsylvania, this referral would have been made sooner if he had sought diagnosis when his doctor first mentioned it to him.

“He had been on me about it for a while,” Barbetta said.

His family history combined with complaints of persistent fatigue were enough for Barbetta’s doctor to suggest the screening. First-hand knowledge of the dangers of uncontrolled diabetes finally were enough to make Barbetta act and get help.

“My grandmother lost her leg,” he recalled and added that maintaining an active lifestyle is important to him. Now retired, he is an avid fisherman, works on his farm daily, and enjoys spending time outdoors.

Barbetta completed a two-day class at the DEC and said he learned a lot, including how to check his sugar, what to eat, and how his food choices can affect his levels. He credits DEC staff with educating him on continuous glucose monitors and the process for requesting one from insurance. They even helped him work through some initial issues he had setting up the device.

“They are nice people,” Barbetta said. “They told me if I need anything to stop in and see them.”

Now a couple months into actively managing the disease, he has lost 12 pounds, feels fuller and more satisfied after he eats, and has renewed energy.

For more information on the WVU Medicine Diabetes Education Center, click here.