XENIA — Xenia and eastern Greene County residents now have more help to manage their diabetes right in their own community. Thanks to Kettering Health Network (KHN), a Joslin Diabetes Center now resides on the campus of Greene Memorial Hospital.
Greene Memorial staff members, Dawn Lyon and Tamara Johnson, work with local doctors to extend the care their patients need as they face the challenges of diabetes. With a physician referral, the center provides individualized education and medical nutrition therapy.
Every year an estimated 64,000 people in Ohio are diagnosed with diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association. Approximately 1.3 million people in Ohio or 13.5 percent of the adult population has diabetes. Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have Type 1 diabetes.
“Type II 2 diabetes is growing,” said Johnson. “People need proper education, testing and meal planning. If patients don’t have this education, their diabetes will gain control. We are trying to prevent folks from getting to that point and help them control their diabetes. We want to catch them early on so they don’t have the complications that come from diabetes.”
The Joslin Diabetes Center is renowned for its expertise in diabetes treatment and research. Joslin is dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes and ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives. Their goal is to develop and disseminate innovative patient therapies and scientific discoveries throughout the world. Joslin is an independent, non-profit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and one of only 11 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-designated Diabetes Research Centers in the US.
“This health issue is not going away,” added Johnson. “We are here to help address it.”
Dawn Lyon and Tamara Johnson stress that their goal is to help patients find the latest care needed to manage their diabetes. Lyon is an adult nurse practitioner with masters and bachelors’ degrees in nursing and is certified in diabetes education. Johnson is a registered licensed dietitian with certifications in diabetes education and community health.
The two have several decades of combined experience and believe they provide a well-rounded level of care to patients.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the job for Johnson is “to have someone come in and get the education they need and see them positively progress, feeling better about themselves. That is our goal.”
KHN began providing the expanded diabetes care at Southview Hospital a few years ago and it has continued to add hospital locations as the need has grown. They also have a location in Beavercreek.
Both the nurse and dietician are excited to now be in Xenia, not only providing diabetes care, but weight management so that patients don’t develop other complications that result from diabetes.
“It’s so important that patients feel at home and feel that they have the support system and education they need to live well,” said Lyon.
Johnson added, “When we opened the Beavercreek center, we were not getting folks from Xenia. Having these services close to home increases the likelihood of participation. To open up a center here helps remove another barrier preventing individuals from seeking help. We invite Xenia and eastern Greene County to come.”