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November is American Diabetes Month at Community Health

Community Health Diabetes Program is Accredited to Provide Self-Management Education and Support

Community Health’s diabetes education program has been accredited by the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES), a professional organization whose vision is “to drive optimal outcomes through the integration of diabetes clinical management, education, prevention and support.” This recognition of Community Health’s quality diabetes education program coincides with American Diabetes Month, an annual spotlight on the risks faced by those with diabetes, and a time to learn about resources and education for paths to wellness and how to live with diabetes.

Community Health has made diabetes education available to primary care patients since 2006, featuring credentialed diabetes educators and guidance from an advisory committee. The advisory committee is made up of medical providers, care managers, quality experts and educational and community representatives who support, guide and collaborate with the educators to ensure that the latest information and preventative measures reflect the needs of the community.

Diabetes education services utilize a collaborative process. Those with or at risk for diabetes work with a diabetes educator to receive individualized care to help them reach their health goals. “My goal is to share my diabetes knowledge with our patients,” said Michele Redmond, RN, BSN, CDCES,  Community Health’s diabetes education program lead. “From this, my hope is that they understand that they are not alone and that they have the ability to manage this diagnosis.”

Between October 2018 and September 2019, nearly 300 Community Health patients attended diabetes education programs that provide information, support and resources for self-managed care, medication management and lifestyle improvements like exercise and nutrition. Community Health’s five certified diabetes educators (CDE) meet with patients at Community Health’s Brandon, Mettowee and Castleton practices.

Although many patients are seen for the initial education session, most don’t make it to the follow up sessions. One goal of the program is to increase the number of patients who complete the entire diabetes education program by proactively contacting diabetes patients and discussing the importance of learning how to live with diabetes. Community Health patients diagnosed with diabetes are referred to the education program by their provider. Clinical staff and diabetes educators supply the providers with the information about the education program and link them to the individual educators.

Diabetes is one of the four illnesses identified in the state of Vermont’s 3-4-50 initiative that spotlights the overwhelming impact of chronic disease in the state. “Three behaviors (no physical activity, poor diet, tobacco use) lead to 4 diseases (cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, lung disease) and result in 50% of deaths in Vermont.” According to data from the Vermont Department of Health website, 10% of the residents of Rutland County and 8% of Addison County have a diagnosis of diabetes.

Working in concert with medical and educational experts in the community, members of the advisory board provide avenues for improving patient knowledge about medications and self-management; provide referrals to experts in endocrinology and other specialties; and connect patients with programs that promote physical activity and nutrition education.

For more information about Community Health’s diabetes education and support resources, speak with your primary care provider or contact us at 888-989-8707.

Members of the Community Health Diabetes Advisory Committee

  • Dr. H. Peter Diercksen, Community Health primary care provider
  • Robin Myers, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Community Health Certified Diabetes Educator
  • Tracy Upton, RN, Community Health Quality Director
  • Donna Hunt, MSA, RD, CDCES, Quality Coordinator Rutland Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic
  • Claudia Courcelle, RN, BSN, MSA, Community Health Clinical Director
  • Gail Regan, PHD, Castleton Univ. professor, Community Adult Physical Activity Program

Community Health Certified Diabetes Educators

  • Robin Myers, DNP, FNP-BC, CDE, Community Health Brandon
  • Abigail Wikoff, APRN, Community Health Brandon
  • Colleen Bates, MA, Community Health Mettowee
  • Diana Johnson, RN, CDE, Community Health Mettowee
  • Michele Redmond, RN, BSN, CDE, Community Health Castleton

All Community Health locations are open and accepting patients.

Have you gotten a flu shot?

Check  our website for information about our ongoing flu shot clinics or call for an appointment at 888-989-8707. More information about Community Health is on our website (

Community Health is Vermont’s largest FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center), a network of primary care, pediatric, behavioral health, dental and pharmacy services with offices in Rutland, Brandon, Castleton, West Pawlet and Shoreham. Community Dental offices are located in Rutland and Shoreham, Community Health Pediatrics is in Rutland and Behavioral Health services are available at all of our locations. Community Health Express Care centers, open 7 days-a-week, are located at the Rutland and Castleton Community Health Centers.

The mission of Community Health (Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region) is to improve the health and wellness of all people in the communities we serve by providing access to excellent medical and dental primary care regardless of any financial consideration.

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