Diabetes Forecast

Phoenix Clinic Treats and Educates

Rigoberto Valencia (left) gets a blood pressure check from premed student Patrick Janik at Wesley Health Center.

When patients come for their doctor appointments at Wesley Health Center in Phoenix, they get a checkup with their physician. But they also get a two-hour class on diabetes management.

Wesley serves Phoenix’s Latino population, and 90 percent of its patients speak Spanish as their first or only language. As part of its diabetes education program, Wesley uses the American Diabetes Association’s Por Tu Familia® program to provide culturally relevant information about diabetes to its patients. The diabetes rate among Latinos is almost twice that of non-Hispanic whites.

When diabetes patients come in for their appointments, they first participate in a class, such as Healthy Flavors in the Latino Kitchen. “Instead of just sitting in the lobby and doing nothing, we talk about diabetes,” says Ana Guzman, MD, a Wesley health educator. Patients meet with another physician after class. They’re also able to meet one-on-one with a health educator and a counselor to discuss what they’ve learned in classes and during their appointment, as well as other issues or conditions besides diabetes they may be facing.

In 2012, Wesley gave 87 classes to 564 patients, and Guzman says she’s seen those patients improving their diabetes management more quickly than those who come in for doctor visits only. The patients who have attended the Por Tu Familia classes are showing lower A1Cs, she says.

For more about Por Tu Familia and other Latino programs, visit diabetes.org/latinoprograms.



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