Marshall Medical Recognized for National Diabetes and Bariatric Programs

GUNTERSVILLE, ALABAMA – May 19, 2010 – Marshall Medical Center North has received certification for two prestigious national programs – the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program and the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation. Following separate and lengthy application processes, notices for both certifications actually came on the same day after months of effort.

“Obviously that was an exciting day for us,” said Cheryl Hayes, Marshall North Administrator. “Both recognitions are clinically-significant accomplishments, but more importantly these voluntary designations illustrate that the quality of care at Marshall Medical is on par with nationally-recognized standards.”

The Diabetes Self-Management Education Program is recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). It assures that the educational programs offered at the hospital meet the national standards developed and tested under the auspices of the National Diabetes Advisory Board.

The Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence (BSCOE) program is collaboration between the Surgical Review Corporation and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. It is designed to help patients identify facilities where they can expect to receive the safest most effective surgical treatments available.

Hayes said both certifications fill important needs in the community.

“Diabetes is all too prevalent in Marshall County. We are pleased to be able to offer education about the self-management of the disease to our patients on a local basis as we make strides toward the prevention of the diagnosis through offerings – like our bariatric surgery services," she said.

Diabetes Education Program

The Marshall North team associated with the diabetes program includes Gina Demuro, a registered dietician (RD) and certified diabetes instructor with more than 15 years of experience. Also on the team is Lisa Bearden, a registered nurse with more than 20 years experience.

According to Demuro, “Programs like ours are reviewed within the framework of specific criteria set forth by the ADA. The certificate validates for prospective patients that our program staff can provide comprehensive information about diabetes management. The program helps patients self-manage their disease by offering information about the disease process, medications, complications and risk factors,” she said.

Referrals to the program are accepted from physicians in and around Marshall County. The education offered includes an individual initial evaluation with a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, followed by 2- 4 hour comprehensive classroom sessions taught by the interdisciplinary education team. Follow-up sessions are available as needed to help ensure that patients are successfully meeting their goals for their diabetes management.

Bariatric Surgery Program

Bariatric surgery is a procedure that decreases the size of the stomach. The purpose is to limit food intake, which therefore enables the person to lose a significant amount of weight. Lap Band and Gastric By-Pass are among the bariatric procedures performed at Marshall Medical.

According to hospital administrator Hayes, “A Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence is a voluntarily accredited medical facility that meets the highest quality and safety standards for the performance of bariatric surgery. Medical centers who achieve this designation must demonstrate excellence in patient care, and the physicians within these designated centers are among the country's top medical practitioners,” Hayes said

“In fact, fewer than 6% of the hospitals in America have received the BSCOE designation,” she said.

For more information, about Diabetic Self-Management Education Program contact the Marshall Diabetes Self-Management Program office at (256) 571-8052. Kristi Kist, the bariatric program coordinator at MMC can be reached at 256-840-5547 for more information about the bariatric surgery services offered at Marshall Medical Centers.

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