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Stephanie Armstrong-Helton

American Diabetes Association Recognizes St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron Diabetes Education Center
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Port Huron, MI…St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron (SJMPH) is pleased to announce that the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has presented its prestigious Education Recognition Certificate for quality diabetes self-management education to the SJMPH Diabetes Education Center. The local program was originally recognized as an outstanding diabetes education center in 1997. This award underscores the ADA’s belief that the SJMPH program offers high-quality education that is an essential component of effective diabetes treatment.

According to the ADA, there are 20.8 million people, or seven percent of the population, in the United States who have diabetes. It has been reported that through 2007, approximately 648,000 people, or 8.5 percent of Michigan’s adult residents, have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Approximately 10,500 St. Clair County, and 2,600 Sanilac County residents have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The ADA’s Education Recognition Certificate assures that educational programs needed by these individuals meet the national standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs. These standards were developed and tested under the auspices of the National Diabetes Advisory Board in 1983 and were revised by the diabetes community in 1994 and 2000.

Awarded every three years, programs apply for ADA recognition voluntarily. Programs that achieve recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide participants with comprehensive information about diabetes management.

“This process gives professionals a national standard by which to measure the quality of services they provide,” comments Sue Colarossi, Registered Dietitian (RD), Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and manager of St. Joseph Mercy’s Diabetes Education Center. “And, of course, it assures our patients that they will receive high-quality service. In addition to ADA recognition, our program has also been certified by the Michigan Department of Community Health since 1991; providing even greater evidence that patients in need of diabetes education can confidently turn to services provided at SJMPH.”

“The ADA reports that each day approximately 4,110 people are diagnosed with diabetes. Many will first learn that they have diabetes when they are treated for one of its life-threatening complications: heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and nerve disease and amputation,” continues Colarossi. “About 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2005. Since 1987 the deaths due to diabetes increased by 45 percent, while the death rate due to heart disease, stroke and cancer have declined.

“Diabetes Self-Management Education is an essential component of diabetes treatment,” continues Colarossi. “One attribute of compliance to the ADA’s national standards is a greater consistency in the quality and quantity of education offered to people with diabetes. Participants are taught self-care skills that will promote better management of the diabetes treatment regimen.

“Assuring high-quality education taught by a team, including a registered nurse and certified diabetes educators and dietitians is one of the primary goals of our program,” Colarossi concludes. “Through the support of the team and increased knowledge and awareness of diabetes, the patient can assume a major part of the responsibility of personal diabetes management. Unnecessary hospital admissions and some of the acute and chronic complications of diabetes may be prevented through self-management education.”

“We are exceptionally proud of the dedicated team available through the Diabetes Education Center,” comments Peter Karadjoff, President & CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron. “As a not-for-profit hospital, we work to improve the health of our communities by reinvesting our ‘profits’ back into the community through new technologies, vital health services and access for all. The SJMPH Diabetes Education Center provides not only necessary health service to our community, but offers innovative ways in which to reach patients including work through the Patient-Centered Medical Home model and the Sweet Touch program of the Peoples’ Clinic for Better Health. Delivering safe, high-quality and compassionate care is one of our core principals and is exemplified through the work of this certified program and team.”

For more information regarding the SJMPH Diabetes Education Center, call 810-985-1840; or visit the SJMPH website at: To find a St. Joseph Mercy physician near you, call toll-free 1-888-MERCYME.
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St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron | 2601 Electric Avenue, Port Huron, Michigan 48060 | 810-985-1500