Beckley VAMC Employees Lead the Charge to Help Veterans With Diabetes
BECKLEY, West Virginia – Two Beckley VA Medical employees have taken over to support the Cutting Edge Diabetes Management program.
RN Faith Bragg and clinical social worker Lorri Lambert teach a six-week, two-hour course that educates veterans about managing diabetes. Topics covered include primary care, mental health, comprehensive health, pharmacy, and education.
“It’s so gratifying,” said Bragg, veterans health education coordinator. “It’s so amazing to see these changes in such a short time. It is undeniable that it changes lives for the better.
An A1C test measures what percentage of hemoglobin protein in a person’s blood is covered in sugar. The higher the A1C level, the higher the risk of complications from diabetes. This can delay necessary procedures and surgeries.
“We had a patient who really needed a hip replacement. He was clearly in pain. In three weeks – only halfway through – it went from 14.9 to 7! said Lambert, the health behaviors coordinator for health promotion and disease prevention. “He went from a wheelchair to a cruise with a walker, then only a cane, then without any assistance!”
Veterans of the course can qualify for a LibrePro Glucose Monitoring System sensor. The device allows veterans to monitor their readings from their smart device. A Beckley VAMC pharmacist can review the information gathered and consult with the veteran’s provider to make changes to their treatment plan.
Stress can also affect blood sugar levels, which is why the overall health program includes yoga, tai chi, and relaxation practices like mindfulness and meditation.
Learning to manage your nutrition is also included, with the help of caregivers and partners.
Veterans meet in person, while observing COVID-19 safety precautions like masks and social distancing.
For those with questions, contact Lorri Lambert at 304-255-2121, ext. 4179 or Faith Bragg at the post. 4280.