Community, News

November is diabetes awareness month

Diabetes affects over 30 million children and adults in the United States with someone diagnosed every 21 seconds, according to the American Diabetes Association. 9.8 percent of adults over 20 in Johnson County, Missouri, are diagnosed with diabetes, according to a press release from Western Missouri Medical Center.

The health costs of diabetes are staggering. Those who have diabetes are at a higher risk of serious health complications including stroke, blindness, kidney disease, heart disease and amputation. These complications cost people with diabetes an average of 2.3 times greater health care costs, according to the press release.

This November, Western Missouri Medical Center is dedicating time to spread awareness about diabetes, sharing preventative information and ensuring all residents are aware of the resources available to them locally.

WMMC’s nationally accredited, comprehensive outpatient program boasts a 100 percent recommendation rate, based upon patient surveys from the past three months. Through personalized plans, information and resources, the self-management program empowers patients to be successful at managing their diabetes, according to the press release.

Many other WMMC services, including nephrology, wound care, cardiology, pulmonology, inpatient hemodialysis and more, touch diabetic patients.

Each year over 50,000 amputations are performed on people with diabetes in the United States due to wounds. The Advanced Wound Center, a 2016 National Center of Distinction that boasts a 90 percent healing rate for all wounds, sees many diabetic patients. Nearly 25 percent of the wounds treated at the wound center are diabetic wounds of the lower extremity.

“We strive to treat the whole patient in our center,” said Jennifer Patterson, RN Case Manager. “We don’t just focus on their wound, but rather all the factors that contribute to them being there.”

Additionally, WMMC hosts a diabetes support group, “Ask the Educator,” that meets the fourth Tuesday of every other month, January, March, May, July, September and November, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This support group showcases various experts that present on different topics pertaining to diabetes self-management and gives those living with diabetes the opportunity to connect with others and build a system of support.

To learn more about diabetes support that WMMC provides and to find resources for self-management, visit

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