November is National Diabetes Month, and this year’s theme is Be smart about your heart: Control the ABCs of diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher risk for heart disease, and this month’s theme is a reminder of the importance of the A1C test, blood pressure, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation in prevention of heart disease. With the number of Americans that have diabetes approaching 30 million, Colorado’s Community Health Centers (CHCs) understand the impact that diabetes can have on patients’ lives and are implementing innovative programs to treat the disease.
CHCs are well equipped to handle chronic health conditions such as diabetes because of their integrated care model to provide team-based care. CHCs around Colorado are providing essential services including health education, nutrition classes, health coaching, pharmacy services, and care coordination to increase the effectiveness of diabetes management. Health education programs include diabetes education classes such as how to control blood sugar, lifestyles classes such as the role of physical activity, and nutrition classes. CHC health educators help patients set goals, create action plans, and offer tips for success while care coordinators help patients navigate the health system and connect to other resources in their communities. These services ensure that diabetic patients receive a high level of care!
Health professionals interested in assisting patients with diabetes have opportunities to join a team at a Colorado CHC. In addition to providers and clinical support staff who meet individually with patients to provide care, CHCs offer other positions that support diabetic patients. Some of these positions include:
- Nutritionists/Dietitians: complete patient screenings, provide nutrition classes/eating plans, and create care plans for high risk patients to help better manage their blood sugar and cholesterol.
- Nurses LPN/RN: help provide screenings, assessments and education to improve overall patient health.
- Health Educators/Diabetes Educators: offer health and lifestyle classes that provide important information about managing diabetes and maintaining overall health and help patients set goals and create self-management plans.
- Care Coordinators/Patient Navigators: connect diabetic patients to additional resources in their communities and with specialty care if needed.
- Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: Ensuring patients are receiving the appropriate and affordable diabetic medications, along with other comorbidities.
Are you interested in being part of a team that has an impact on patients with diabetes? CHCs offer a variety of rewarding careers that make a difference. Here are some job openings for these types of positions at Colorado’s CHCs:
- Care Coordinator, High Plains Community Health Center
- Pharmacy Technician, Peak Vista Community Health Centers
- RN/LPN, Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc.
- Care Coordinator 2 – Advanced Community Services, Metro Community Provider Network