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Diabetes program at Great Plains Health receives national ADA recognition

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Great Plains Health diabetes education program certified by American Diabetes Association

Friday, February 8, 2019

Hospital news


February 7, 2019

CONTACT: Fiona Libsack, FACHE, chief development officer


Diabetes program at Great Plains Health receives national ADA recognition

NORTH PLATTE, NEB. – Great Plains Health’s diabetes management program was notified this week that it has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as a certified diabetes education program. This designation is offered to select programs throughout the nation that have demonstrated high-quality diabetes education as an essential component of effective diabetes treatment.

The ADA’s education recognition certificate indicates that a health system has met the national standards for diabetes self-management education, creating greater consistency in the quality and quantity of education offered to people with diabetes.

“Ever since we were notified that Lincoln County is among the highest in diabetes-related deaths, Great Plains Health has been on a mission to improve the diabetes education that we provide to our community. We’ve also been focused on creating a more comprehensive and coordinated diabetes management program that better meets our patients’ needs and sets them up for success,” said Fiona Libsack, chief development officer.

“This recognition from the American Diabetes Association is an acknowledgement of the hard work that has been put into developing our diabetes education program over the past several months,” said GPHealth Endocrinologist Dr. John Mihailidis. “I am encouraged by the evolution of our education program and the continued growth of our endocrinology division. We are now in a better position to make a positive impact on the health of our community.”

The Great Plains Health diabetes management program includes certified diabetic educators, both registered nurses and a registered dietician, who work in collaboration with patients, primary care providers and endocrinology providers to ensure that Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients are receiving both initial and ongoing education to effectively manage their condition while continuing to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

In addition, GPHealth has established a Diabetes Advisory Council in which a multi-disciplinary team of local physicians, nurses, care coordination team members, social workers, pharmacists, lab techs, public health officials, dietitians and diabetes educators come together to discuss and implement policy changes, protocols and practices that improve patient care as it relates to diabetes management.

To augment individual diabetes self-management education, insulin and pump therapy and nutrition education, the program offers Type 2 diabetes self-management group education sessions that physicians can refer patients to. The program is offered the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Great Plains Health Education Center. The class features education on diabetes disease process and treatment options, monitoring blood glucose, medications, acute complications, emergency preparedness, nutrition and carbohydrate counting, physical activity, strategies to promote health and behavior change, chronic complications and coping with stress.

“Our goal in these interactive group sessions is to help patients acquire the knowledge, information, self-care practices, coping skills and attitudes required for the effective self-management of their diabetes,” said Shannon Krueger, BSN, GPHealth diabetes educator and program quality coordinator. “The group setting helps patients learn from each other as well.”

“We’ve also had recent success with our grocery walk,” said Diane Tobin, certified diabetes educator. “We offer a session in the Walmart Grocery Store every other month that teaches person living with diabetes how to properly select food and read labels. It’s been a great, hands-on way to educate.”

“We’re proud of the work the diabetes management team at GPHealth has accomplished in a relatively short amount of time,” said Mel McNea, GPHealth chief executive officer. “We’re excited about what’s next in the evolution of our program and the positive impact it will have on patients in our region.”

For more information about the diabetes education program at Great Plains Health, please contact Shannon Krueger at 308.568.7524 or

Five facts about diabetes from the World Health Organization

  1. The number of people with diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980.
  2. There are two major forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production. Type 2 results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. While Type 2 diabetes is potentially preventable, the causes and risk factors for Type 1 diabetes remain unknown.
  3. The causes are complex, but the rise is due in part to increases in the number of people who are overweight, including an increase in obesity, and in a widespread lack of physical activity. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days and a healthy diet can drastically reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  4. Untreated and improperly managed diabetes can lead to blindness, amputation, heart disease, stroke, nerve damage and kidney failure.
  5. The longer people live with undiagnosed and untreated diabetes, the worse their health outcomes.


About Great Plains Health

Based in North Platte, Nebraska, Great Plains Health is a fully accredited, 116-bed acute care regional medical center serving western and central Nebraska, northern Kansas and southern South Dakota. With nearly 100 physicians representing nearly 30 medical specialties, the Great Plains Health system offers advanced healthcare including heart and vascular, cancer and orthopaedic surgery services. The system employs approximately 1,100 employees and serves a geographic area spanning approximately 67,882 square miles. For more information, visit

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