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Davis Medical Center’s LifeSkills program will now be offered at the Randolph County Senior Center

November 16, 2018

ELKINS – Persons with diabetes are invited and encouraged to enroll in the upcoming LifeSkills program  which will be held at the Randolph County Senior Center in Elkins. Classes are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, and 9 a.m. Dec. 18. The classes are two hours each.

The Davis Medical Center (DMC)  LifeSkills program is credentialed by the American Diabetes Association and is intended for qualified patients with type 2 diabetes. It is a flexible learning experience designed to work with the ‘real-world’ environment and life circumstances that exist for each person. The program is instructed by qualified professionals including a Certified Diabetic Educator, Registered Dieticians, Physical Therapists, Pharmacists and Registered Nurses. Locally, the LifeSkills Class has helped patients lower their HgbA1c.

DMC Physical Therapist Julie Fleming has been working with the LifeSkills program for 16 years and she said participants have told her time and again how valuable the classes have been for them.

“Regardless of the length of time since their initial diagnosis, participants have experienced how invaluable the program has been to increase their knowledge and provide strategies for managing diabetes,” Fleming said. “A lot of the management strategies have evolved over the years. It used to be a plan of deprivation but now it is about evaluating the nutritional value of the items on your plate, how do you balance that and still allow yourself to have a piece of cake? It might not be a three-inch by three-inch piece of cake, but you still get that gratification from a smaller portion.”

Fleming said she is excited to partner with the Randolph County Senior Center.

“DMC hosts Free Lunch Friday at the Randolph County Senior Center once a month. Jim Severino and I have been there to answer questions about the LifeSkills program and introduce it to people,” Fleming said. “We were able to gather some names, so this will be our first attempt to make this a regular offering there.”

The LifeSkills program introduces participants to the most up to date information on living with diabetes.  Education includes meal planning, physical activity, medications, and the prevention of complications.

“We really can individualize the program,” Fleming said. “We meet with individuals, and some activities are completed as a group. It is unique to have that one-on-one time along with the benefit of discussing some of the trials and tribulations of diabetes self-management with the others who attend.”

"One of the great things we do is meet with the individuals to determine their goal for participation,” Fleming said. “For some it might be determining how to be more active and for others it might be learning about carbohydrates. Others might be frustrated because of high and low blood sugar readings. We have the benefit of having a registered nurse and dietician to help evaluate their medications, blood sugar findings and meal diary to evaluate the effectiveness of each individual's management plan.

Those wishing to participate in the upcoming LifeSkills program need to pre-register by calling Melissa Kisner, R.N., DMC Population Health Coach by calling 304-637-3696.

“Melissa will coordinate with the person’s physician to enroll them,” Fleming said. “Most insurances including Medicare cover participation.”

As a community hospital, DMC is committed to identifying and addressing the health needs of the population they serve. They offer a variety of resources to provide a comprehensive approach to managing chronic conditions such as diabetes.

“By participating in the LifeSkills program, participants have the opportunity to learn more about the local resources and specialized services available to make their personal diabetes self-management plan a success,” Fleming said.

CAPTION: Nutritional counseling and education is an important component of the LifeSkills class.  Diabetes Educator Jim Severino, RD, CDE, prepares simple, healthy recipes that participants can sample and make at home.