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Interview with Amy Leffard about "Life with Diabetes" Class Series

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Medical Minute - 3:20

Dave Kurten: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Health. Our guest this week is Amy Leffard, diabetes educator, here to talk about the upcoming “Life with Diabetes” class series. Amy, what is the “Life with Diabetes” program?

Amy Leffard: Well, the “Life with Diabetes” class is a comprehensive diabetes management class that’s offered by Mount Nittany Medical Center. It’s a program to help people with diabetes and their loved ones learn how to live with and manage diabetes. It is a self-management class, and it’s taught by members of the Mount Nittany Health system. We have a registered nurse, a registered dietitian, both of which are certified diabetes educators. We also have a physical therapist that helps instruct people with diabetes about safe exercising and properly caring for their feet. Some of the topics that we’re going to cover in the class is, of course, the importance of healthy eating and proper nutrition and some creative and appropriate meal planning. We’re also going to talk about safe and effective exercise for people with diabetes complications and a little bit about monitoring your blood glucose and how to use those results. We also will cover medications, the importance of taking those medicines, how your medicines work – all those kinds of things. And also, a big one, preventing long-term complications that are associated with diabetes.

Dave Kurten: Why is it important for people with diabetes to attend this class?

Amy Leffard: Managing diabetes can be difficult for many people, but the more you know, the better off you’re going to be. So, people with diabetes can make good choices that are going to improve their health, and it’s also going to keep those long-term complications of diabetes at bay. They face these choices every day, so it really pays to be informed. It helps to know the facts, and then they are going to be able to make the right choices – the healthy choices. So simple things, just like learning how to read a food label, can make a big difference in your diabetes. If you know which foods affect your blood sugar the most or the least, then you can plan your day with that. We also recommend that when people come to these classes that they bring someone along with them – a support person who will be a second ear for them, if you will. It’s also a good idea if people want to discuss this with their doctor. He or she might want to know that they’re taking these positive steps to improve their diabetes and go to better health. They most likely are going to want to check your progress as well.

Dave Kurten: When and where will the classes be offered?

Amy Leffard: Classes are going to be offered at Mount Nittany Medical Center at 1800 East Park Avenue in State College in the downstairs conference rooms. The dates are going to be: It’s a four-week series, and they are going to be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. That’ll be October 2, 9, 16 and 23. We’ll then have a three-month follow-up in January. That date hasn’t been set yet, though.

Dave Kurten: Is there a fee to attend this series of classes?

Amy Leffard: Yes, there actually is a charge for this. We submit that to your insurance company. We do like to ask the participants to check with their insurance company prior to registering to determine if there is going to be any out-of-pocket charges that they might incur.

Dave Kurten: Where can community members get more information on the “Life with Diabetes” program?

Amy Leffard: We do ask people to register early, and we do need advance registration, so they can call 814-231-7095 to register for “Life with Diabetes.” Or, they can go to the Mount Nittany Health website, http://www.mountnittany.org, to get more information.

Dave Kurten: Amy Leffard, diabetes educator, has been our guest on this edition of the Medical Minute. The 3WZ Medical Minute has been brought to you by Mount Nittany Health.


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