NMMC enhances diabetes services

FORT KENT, Maine — Sandra San Antonio, director of medical practices at Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC), announced that both diabetes educators at NMMC have met the training requirements to become certified as Medtronic insulin pump trainers.

Dayna Emerson MS, RD, CDE, Medtronic’s diabetes senior clinical manager for central and northern Maine, informed nurses Stacy Raymond and Linda Russell that they had successfully completed all requirements for the specialized certification.

“Your patients will get the very best diabetes management possible through the use of the latest technology,” Emerson said.

To be eligible for the certification, the nurses had to complete several tasks over the past 18 months, including supervised pump installation and successful completion of a certification exam.

The Diabetes Management Program currently available at NMMC is designed to assist people with diabetes to learn more about nutrition and disease management in order to prevent long-term and potentially life-threatening complications. The new insulin pump service enhances the Diabetes Self Management Training Program and eliminates the need for patients to travel outside the St. John Valley to seek a certified provider.

With a combined 24 years of experience as registered nurses, and through close collaboration with providers, Raymond and Russell can provide up-to-date service for diabetes patients to manage their illness and to achieve better quality of life through improved glycemic control. Both RNs are also care coordinators which lends itself to a holistic approach to disease management. Often, patients with diabetes are also dealing with other chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and chronic pulmonary disease.

Harold Cyr of Madawaska is a patient who struggled with complications from diabetes. His treatment plan, which included several insulin injections each day, was overwhelming.  Discussions with his doctor and his nurse determined he was a candidate for an insulin pump.

“I got a second chance when she (Linda Russell) got me a pump,” Cyr said. After approximately four months in the Care Coordination Program, he is proud of his hard work and success in attaining much improved glycemic control. Through the care coordination program, the RNs maintain close contact by phone, in the provider office and, in special circumstances, by home visit, in order to provide maximum support to patients who are dealing with complex health issues.

To learn more about these and other programs, call 207-834-1946.

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