Friday, December 11, 2015

Improving Diabetes Outcomes

Primary care physicians and endocrinologists have always worked hard to manage their diabetic patients. But until recently, few physicians had the support that they needed to really help diabetics maximize their health. GBMC now has a designed system for maximizing the health and care of patients with chronic disease called the patient-centered medical home. In these advanced primary care settings, physicians do not have to act as “lone rangers.” The doctors have teammates called nurse care managers, care coordinators and medical assistants to help them get the job done.

The Greater Baltimore Health Alliance (GBHA), the parent organization of our employed and affiliated patient centered medical homes has been working very hard to treat every diabetic patient the way that we want our own loved ones treated. GBHA is one of the few healthcare organizations in the state that is measuring its performance on the “diabetes composite score.”  The score has been made up of elements that, if present, have been shown to increase the life span and functional capabilities of diabetic patients.  Currently, GBHA is in the top 15 percent of organizations nationally in diabetes care, and we are working hard to see that all of our patients improve their health.

As part of that care over the past two and a half years we’ve been offering a FREE series of two 90-minute diabetes education classes to our patients.  Patients who would benefit are identified by their primary care physician or care manager and are encouraged to attend the  series. Currently, these bimonthly classes are being held at GBMC Hunt Valley, Perry Hall and Family Care Associates' offices and coming in 2016 at Owings Mills. The classes are being led by Ellen Wallace, the clinical manager for our Geckle Diabetes Center, and are taught by the Geckle Center registered dietitians who are all certified diabetes educators. Each of the two classes uses interactive “maps” to provide a lively overview of Diabetes Self-Management (DSME). These introductory classes highlight the key message of living well with diabetes through DSME.

I want to commend Ellen and Dr. Robin Motter-Mast, our Chair of Family Medicine and Medical Director of our PCMH program for this very important educational initiative and am grateful to our diabetic patients for their participation and their willingness to “co-produce” their care. The more engaged and educated our patients become, the better their outcomes will be!

Recently, the local chapter of the March of Dimes visited our NICU, as part of their Day of Gratitude effort, to show appreciation for our staff and to bring awareness to the issue of premature birth. The March of Dimes presented our NICU team with a plaque as an expression of thanks to the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals for all they do each day as they care for newborns and their families.

Under the leadership of Dr. Howard Birenbaum, the medical director of our NICU, along with Dr.Maria Pane, one of his neonatology partners, our NICU team is doing an excellent job in the fight to decrease the number of preterm births and to ensure that preterm infants are given the best chance possible for a healthy future.

We are honored to receive this recognition AND I am extremely proud of our NICU team of physicians and nurses for this wonderful accomplishment.

In The Spirit of The Holidays, Please Donate A Toy...
This year, we are a proud sponsor of the Kindertime Toy Drive! Each year, toys collected for the Kindertime Toy Drive are given to children at the Ronald McDonald House and Kennedy Krieger as well as children in need in the Baltimore area.  Please don’t forget to donate a new, unwrapped toy at any GBMC drop-off location.  You have until Friday, Dec. 18th!  Remember, that if you donate a toy you can enter for a chance to win one (1) of fifty (50) pairs of tickets to an advance screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Dec. 17th.  For more information, please visit:

Wishing all those who are celebrating the Festival of Lights a very Happy Hanukkah!

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