The Chertow Diabetes Center helps patients take treatment into their own hands.
The fundamental reality of diabetes is that daily care is in the hands of the patient. That is why the Chertow Diabetes Center, located just a block from Cabell Huntington Hospital at the Byrd Clinical Center, uses a patient-centered approach in every aspect of care. With the largest group of board-certified endocrinologists in West Virginia and a committed team of patient educators and other specialty personnel, the Chertow Diabetes Center is a testament to years of teamwork among Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University, and the Tri-State community.
The center is named for Dr. Bruce Chertow, who founded the Department of Endocrinology at the Marshall School of Medicine in the 1970s and dedicated his entire medical career to diabetes treatment, emphasizing a patient-centered, collaborative approach to diabetes management. At the Chertow Diabetes Center, patients are evaluated and treated by a team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, educators, lab specialists, and therapists.
Medical Director Dr. Henry Driscoll says education and support are key components of the center’s mission. “Patients are at the center of the healthcare team, but this is especially true for diabetic patients,” Driscoll says. “They have to balance their diet and exercise and medication on a day-to-day basis, and we are here to support them each step of the way.”
To help individuals gain control of their diabetes and manage their daily decision-making, certified diabetes educators focus on four areas: meal planning, exercise, medication, and blood glucose monitoring. The center offers one-on-one insulin pump training and provides education about the latest glucose monitoring technology, including The Minimed® 670G, the first insulin pump to automatically deliver a personalized amount of insulin needed by the body 24 hours a day.
Patient educators are essential to the center’s success, whether they are reviewing a diabetic patient’s diet, creating a plan to manage blood glucose, or helping a client navigate insurance and other financial decisions.
Driscoll says the center’s partnership with Cabell Huntington Hospital provides a full range of key resources important to patients with diabetes including pharmacy services, the J. Robert Pritchard Dialysis Center, the multidisciplinary Diabetes Exercise Center, the Neurophysiology Lab, Huntington’s Kitchen, and the Center for Wound Healing, a comprehensive wound center that offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy for diabetic foot wounds.
“From podiatrists to pharmacists to ophthalmologists, we have excellent resources available to us and our patients,” Driscoll says. “It is a team effort, not only within the center, but outside its walls as well.”
While individuals with diabetes may manage their own daily care, thanks to the Chertow Diabetes Center, they don’t have to do it alone. And now, patients in the Putnam County area have access close to home with diabetes self-management and education services in Teays Valley. Diabetes educators, registered dietitians, and certified pump trainers now see patients at Marshall Health–Teays Valley, located at 300 Corporate Center Drive in Scott Depot.
written by Shawn K. Jordan