Diabetes Treatment

The Diabetes Treatment Center at Southeast Alabama Medical Center is accredited by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Our interdisciplinary team, including your physician and our certified diabetes specialists, share a common goal – to help those diagnosed with diabetes lead longer, healthier lives. According to the ADA, approximately 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes with 1.4 million newly diagnosed each year. Controlling diabetes can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disorders, amputation, dental disease and pregnancy complications.

The Diabetes Treatment Center offers an array of services:

  • Acute Inpatient Program
  • Comprehensive Outpatient Program
  • Support Groups

Currently diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Our patients, including those who have had diabetes for years, are discovering new ways to live a better life with diabetes.

If you are a patient with diabetes and you are admitted to our hospital, it is very important to manage your blood sugar levels. Recent studies show that keeping blood sugar levels near normal while in the hospital can help prevent infections and improve overall health outcomes. Our experienced staff understands the special needs of patients with diabetes. They will work with your doctor to help give you the highest quality care for your diabetes during your hospitalization.

At SAMC, we are the only hospital in the region to offer a Computerized Intravenous Insulin Infusion (CIII) Program. The CIII Program is used to resolve hyperglycemia and maintain normoglycemia while you are in the hospital. For open heart surgery patients, this program is important because cardiovascular surgeons depend on it to calculate insulin requirements during and after surgery.

“Recent clinical research has shown the importance of keeping the blood glucose level in a range very near normal. Patients with previously diagnosed diabetes frequently have marked elevations in their blood glucose after the stress of any surgery, particularly cardiac surgery. Also, many patients who are unaware of having a problem with their blood glucose will have significant elevations in their blood glucose after cardiac surgery. Strict control of the blood glucose in the normal or near normal range is important to allow the wounds to heal properly with much less chance of a complication from a severe post-operative infection of the sternum.”

“The CIII Program allows the medical team to use insulin intravenously in a carefully controlled manner to keep the blood glucose in a very tight range post-operatively. The nurses can measure the blood glucose, enter the value into the program, and feel confident that the adjustments recommended will maintain the blood glucose very near the desired range. This is a great timesaver for nurses, allowing them to attend to other pressing issues with the patient instead of having to call the physician frequently for insulin adjustments. The machine maintains the blood glucose in a much tighter range than casual estimates can achieve. This gives the patient the best chance of avoiding the problems associated with those serious sternal wound infections.”

John Stone, MD, Endocrinologist, Dothan Medical Associates
Medical Director of Diabetes Treatment Center

Our Diabetes Outpatient Program focuses on nutrition and wellness education for diabetics and their family members.  Services provided by certified diabetes educators, registered nurses and registered dietitians include:

  • Outpatient medical treatment under physician’s direction
  • Diabetes counseling and education during pregnancy
  • Specialized insulin therapies including insulin pumps
  • Oral medication management
  • Nutrition counseling and meal planning
  • Support groups
  • Diabetes education programs led by certified diabetes educators
  • Individual and family support
  • Diabetes community lectures

Follow-up sessions are scheduled during the third and 12th month of your program. These sessions are designed to help you measure your progress toward the goals you have set and to give you ongoing support for daily management of diabetes. Individual evaluations by a certified diabetic educator are also available to you. Insulin training, blood glucose monitoring, nutrition counseling and other diabetic issues may be discussed during your evaluation. Diabetes Education Classes are offered morning, afternoons and evenings for your convenience. People who attend our classes must be referred by their physicians. Our staff will be happy to assist you with obtaining a referral.

Many insurance companies recognize the need for diabetes education to help prevent or delay the complications associated with diabetes. At the time your class is scheduled, your insurance verification is obtained or a payment plan is created.

It is important to have support from other people with diabetes. At SAMC, we offer support groups to you, free of charge. If you have diabetes, we strongly encourage you to attend one of our following support groups:

Diabetes Support Group – This group focuses on informative topics regarding current diabetes care and fellowship. The group meets quarterly. Please call the Diabetes Treatment Center at 334-793-8854 or 1-800-223-0843 for more information.

Support Group for Children and Adolescents with Diabetes – This group focuses on children and adolescents with diabetes. If your child has diabetes, we encourage you to attend this group with them. Please call the Diabetes Treatment Center at 334-793-8854 or 1-800-223-0843 for more information.

The Diabetes Treatment Center is located inside Southeast Alabama Medical Center. For more information, including assistance coordinating a referral or a class schedule, call 334-793-8854 or 1-800-223-0843.