10/25/10 Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center/Plymouth will host a Diabetes Support Group meeting for the Marshall County community and surrounding areas on Thursday, October 28, in the hospital’s Education Center (Medical Office Building, 2nd Floor) from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. 

The Diabetes Support Group meets every other month and welcomes diabetics, families, friends, and those interested in learning more about diabetes. The October 28 meeting will focus on diabetes relation to non-healing wounds. Kathy Fick, RN, from the Saint Joseph Wound Healing Center at Plymouth, will be giving a presentation titled, “Caring for People with Diabetes.” She will also educate on the services of the Wound Healing Center for diabetic patients.

“The incidence of diabetic foot ulcers is growing at a rate of 14% annually and 15% of all diabetic patients are expected to develop foot ulcers during their lifetime,” said Fick. “Diabetes is often the underlying cause of non-healing wounds and the Wound Healing Center at Plymouth specializes in the treatment of these types of wounds using advanced technology including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.”

 Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a proven therapy that increases the amount of oxygen in the body to jump start healing and has been used successfully by the Wound Healing Center at Plymouth to heal all types of wounds including diabetic foot ulcers.

 “As the number of diabetics increases nationwide and right here in Marshall County, Saint Joseph is committed to improving the quality of life of this population,” said Barbara Kunnen, RN, SJRMC/Plymouth’s Diabetic Educator. 

 Healthcare support groups are essential, particularly to diabetics who may view their illness as a stressful, never-ending experience, leading to the need to reach out to others outside the clinical setting suffering from the same illness.  This is where groups like these can provide additional support and guidance.  A diabetic who is in the company of other diabetics feels more comfortable about sharing personal experiences; likewise there are valuable lessons to be gained by listening to others speak of their experiences.

 “Support groups provide more than support,” Kunnen said.  “They create positive reinforcement especially when they talk about how diabetes has not affected their quality of life.  They tell others that there is hope.”

Those interested in learning more about SJRMC/Plymouth’s Diabetes Support Group should call (574) 935-2275.