Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Diabetic Female Veterans: Pampered and Educated
Recently Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center held a pampering event for female Veterans struggling with diabetes management. The goal of this shared appointment was to bring patients in with no recent lab work since there is a large population of women with A1C greater than nine and hopefully reduce the number of appointment no shows in the future.
Letha Rogers, Associate Nurse Executive, Primary Care Service Line, had a vision to “pamper our ladies” and show them they are not alone in their fight to control their diabetes. Cheryl Pratt, RN, MSN, CDE Outpatient Diabetes Nurse Educator and Carol Larsen, BSN, MA Nurse Case Manager for Primary Care Clinics, jumped at the opportunity to create an inviting atmosphere to draw our female Veterans into this shared appointment.
Shared appointments like this one are part of PACT-Patient Aligned Care Team. PACT is becoming a new standard of care which helps patients engage and participate more effectively in their health care.
Mary Ann Mason, was chosen for a facial demonstration called, “Putting Your Best Face Forward,” by Mary Kay representative, Agnes Stewart. Stewart showed the ladies the fundamentals of good make-up practices by showing them how to blend and choose the right products for their skin type.
“I really felt like I learned something about my skin and how to apply make-up properly. When you wear it the right way, it looks and feels natural,” said Mason.
Sara Hinkle Forbes, MS, RD, CDE Registered dietician/Certified Diabetes Educator, shared healthy eating tips with the Veterans, stressing the importance of a balanced diet in diabetes management.
Female Veterans also received a cooking demonstration from Chef Wendy Cleim. Cleim showed the ladies that healthy eating can hold a lot of flavor by making a delicious lentil soup which all the patients had a chance to taste.
After the class and demonstrations finished, the ladies had an opportunity to get a massage and mingle with each other. One of the first steps with PACT is creating relationships between patients, enhancing a support system between Veterans suffering from similar conditions like diabetes.
Talk to your Primary Care provider about PACT and other programs available.