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APSU School of Nursing a partner with local center in diabetes management

4/30/2012

With the help of a national competitive grant, the Austin Peay State University School of Nursing is partnering with the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center to provide a diabetes management program for low-income adults.

APSU’s nursing students, as part of requirements in the Community Health course, will work with patients at Matthew Walker’s local health center on Dover Road. Specifically, they will be at the center twice a week, educating patients on disease management.

“This is a great example of APSU nursing providing care for the underserved population of Clarksville,” said Dr. Patty Orr, director of the nursing program at APSU. “They focus on people at risk for diabetes, teaching patients how to prevent it and ways to control it for those diagnosed with diabetes.”

The Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center recently was awarded a $165,000 grant from the AstraZeneca Health Care Foundation to support the center’s “Dial Down Diabetes” program. The APSU School of Nursing received a small portion of the grant money from AstraZeneca to support the center’s program of care interventions.

Dial Down Diabetes is targeted toward the African-American and Latino communities with a goal of developing a comprehensive community-based program for low-income adults with diagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes. The program is designed to enable patients to "dial down" the impact that diabetes has in their lives. The program currently has 200 patients in the program with a goal of 350.

"Supporting good health extends beyond an individual's visit to a doctor," said Jeff McKissack, Matthew Walker CEO. "The Dial Down Diabetes program enables us to provide an additional lifestyle support program for our diabetic and prediabetic patients here at the Center, as well as in between doctor visits."

In the program, participants will have a case manager assigned to them, as Matthew Walker research indicates systematic follow-up is key to managing diabetes. The program will feature healthy cooking classes, "scholarships" to local recreational center fitness classes and community-based fun walks.

“We are just thrilled that our students will be a part of this,” Orr said. “This is nursing education at its best.”

Matthew Walker was one of 19 nonprofit organizations from across the country to receive the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation award for 2012, and one of only two to receive multiyear grant awards.

For more information, contact the APSU School of Nursing, 931-221-7710. - Dr. Melony Shemberger