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Northern Hospital Receives Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Grant...

Northern Hospital of Surry County is pleased to announce that it has received a $148,500 grant to provide a Diabetes Education and Self-Management Program from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The project will fund the expansion of the Diabetic Center of Excellence at Northern Family Medicine. The program objective is to improve the lives of local residents by reaching out to newly diagnosed diabetics and through an individualized, evidence based diabetic care plan, teach these patients to manage their diabetes and achieve an average hemoglobin A1c drop of 2.6 points or 23%. The hemoglobin A1c test, also called HbA1C or simply A1C, is an important blood test that shows how well a person’s diabetes is being controlled. The grant will give program leaders the necessary tools and exposure to grow the Diabetes Program, with a goal of enrolling 30 new patients a month over a 12-month period of time.

The Diabetic Center of Excellence was created in October 2014 at what was then Northwest Medical Center (now Northern Family Medicine). From the beginning, the program was designed to produce measurable and reportable patient outcomes, individualize care plans for the patients and minimize the amount of medications patients have to take.

“The key component of our program is communicating on a level that crosses socio-economic boundaries. This is why our “home-grown” approach succeeds in teaching multifaceted aspects of diabetes management to everyone,” said Mike Cartledge, PA-C at Northern Family Medicine and Director of the Diabetic Center of Excellence.

“We are passionate about patient education and believe a knowledge-empowered and encouraged patient can accomplish anything,” said Dr. Nelson Gardner of Northern Family Medicine.

Program Coordinator, Paige Cartledge, RN, launched a pilot round of 30 patients in October 2014. In June 2015, an evaluation of the first 58 patients revealed an average HbA1C drop of 2.3 points across all age groups. A re-evaluation of the program in November 2015 revealed a drop of 2.6 points in HbA1C, which is a decrease of 23 percent.

“Education is crucial to patient success,” says Paige, “we designed classes that meet the individual needs of our patients. Four of the six classes in the program focus on preparing healthy balanced meals for diabetics. Diabetics come away from the classes with a foundation for meal planning that makes them feel they can ‘eat like normal people’ and not have to starve to death. The program teaches label reading and choosing smart foods for diabetics instead of just telling our patients ‘don’t eat anything white.’

“This program provides a holistic preventative approach to patient care empowering patients to be successful and bringing about behavioral changes which improve quality of life not just for a few months, but the rest of their lives,” said Paige.

It is estimated well over 10,000 Surry County residents are currently plagued with uncontrolled diabetes. Surry County has a Chronic Diabetes ranking of 31% above the national average. It is the eighth leading cause of death in this county. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in sight loss and loss of limbs. Continually elevated levels of glucose (aka high blood sugar) damages blood vessels and can lead to additional chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, dementia/Alzheimer’s and kidney failure.

The Diabetic Center of Excellence is committed to enrolling 30 new patients each month. On average, our patients will have an A1C level of greater than 9.0, over half will be obese, and 10% will be smokers. Based on reports from the 2015 pilot program, patients will lower their A1C levels by least 2 points. The program is covered by all insurance programs including VA-Choice and Non-VA Care programs, and financial assistance programs are available for under or uninsured patients.

There are plans in progress to enhance the program including a virtual grocery store visit, healthy meal preparation and cooking classes, and a cookbook focused on local residents and their eating preferences and habits.

The Center is located at 280 North Pointe Boulevard in Mount Airy, NC at the Northern Wellness Center. Northern Wellness Center houses Northern Family Medicine, a seven provider family practice office, a full retail pharmacy, medical weight loss center, and complete fitness center with an indoor walking track, fully equipped Nautilus and weights gym, multi-purpose gym, indoor and outdoor pools and nutrition management.

Anyone interested in participating in the Diabetic Education and Self-Management Program should call Paige at 336-786-4133 extension 1028. More information may also be found online at

“My grandmother, who I called ‘Nanny’, was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 71 said Paige. By fully embracing a holistic approach to her diabetes, Nanny was able to control it through a change in her diet and exercise and spent the last 23 years of her life with the ability to go and do mostly as she pleased. We were able to take road trips, go out to eat, go for walks, or even just ride the Parkway looking at flowers in the spring. Nanny and I shared so many wonderful memories during her late years of life, memories we could not have enjoyed had she lived with uncontrolled diabetes and the debilitating effects that come with it. How many grandchildren have a granny or a papa that is 92 years old and still walking an indoor track every day of the week? That’s my wish, for others to enjoy the company of their grandparents and loved ones well into their senior years, without the effects of their chronic disease. We are honored to receive this grant from Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and eager to embark on this journey of changing lives.”

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina. The Health Care Division promotes wellness state-wide by investing in prevention and treatment. The Poor and Needy Division of the Trust responds to basic life needs and invests in solutions that improve the quality of life and health for financially needy residents of Forsyth County. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. serves as sole trustee.

Northern Hospital of Surry County is an independently operated award winning facility with a number of outpatient service locations including physician specialists, pharmacy, and fitness center. Northern Medical Group is the hospital’s network of primary care and specialty providers delivering a comprehensive array of services to meet the needs of the community. Northern Hospital is a certified Stroke Center of Excellence and is recognized for distinction in patient safety, receiving consistent honors of a Grade “A” Hospital Safety Score from The Leapfrog Group. The state-of-the art Surgery Center houses a wide range of inpatient and outpatient procedures including orthopedics, gynecology, gastroenterology, urological, surgeries of the eye, and other general surgeries. Founded in 1957, Northern Hospital is located in Mount Airy, North Carolina and serves the northwest Piedmont region of NC and neighboring counties in southwest Virginia. For more information visit

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