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Gwinnett Medical Center’s Hospitals Receive Diabetes Grant


Cisco’s Grant Provides Education Impacting Quality of Life

Lawrenceville, Ga.—Without appropriate medical care, comprehensive education and support, those diagnosed with diabetes can potentially suffer from complications such as blindness, nontraumatic amputations, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke, among others. Based on a grant from Cisco, Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) with hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth, can now provide the underserved community population with additional access to the necessary education and information to help improve quality of life for those with type 2 diabetes.

According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects an estimated 25.8 million people in the country. From a more local perspective, in 2009, 9.7 percent of Georgians have diabetes, a number that’s up from 6.1 percent a decade ago, according to the study.

“Access to quality healthcare is integral to thriving communities,” said Renee Byrd-Lewis, Cisco community relations director. “The rapid increase of type 2 diabetes diagnoses in the region coupled with significant complications, translates to increased costs. Providing underserved patients the skills and knowledge to effectively manage diabetes thereby avoiding complications, benefits us all and ultimately leads to an increased quality of life, which is critical in these times of economic distress.”

“Multiple factors like inactivity and obesity have led to increasing rates of our population newly diagnosed with diabetes,” said Cris Hartley, RD, CDE, manager of GMC’s Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center. “However with proper management and appropriate lifestyle changes a person with diabetes can continue to lead a healthy, productive life.”

The diabetes education program at GMC, an American Diabetes Association Recognized Diabetes Education Program, staffed by Certified Diabetes Educators, helps patients understand and learn how to best manage their diabetes. From the causes and complications of type 2 diabetes, to nutrition and lifestyle management, to coping with depression and stress education, the program encompasses many factors that impact diabetes management. For patients like Kellie Richardson of Lawrenceville, Ga., it’s already made an impact.

“I lost my job and was diagnosed with diabetes in one day,” said Richardson. “Because I was without insurance, I would not have been able to have education without this grant. The nicest part of the class was to be with other people with diabetes and not feel so isolated.”

Diabetes education at the Center includes an individual assessment with a diabetes educator and seven hours of education in a classroom setting. Follow-up appointments at four and eight months after education are also offered to monitor patient progress.

Diabetes education classes are available at Gwinnett Medical Center’s hospitals in Duluth and Lawrenceville. The Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center also hosts an annual community diabetes education day in November at no charge. For more information, contact the Center at (678) 312-6040 or visit the Diabetes Education page.

About Gwinnett Medical Center
Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network with acute-care hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth that provide award-winning healthcare services. GMC’s 4,200 associates and 800 affiliated physicians serve more than 400,000 patients annually. To learn more about how GMC is transforming healthcare, or follow us at, or