Popular Teen Diabetes Group Focuses on Fun

Vol. 14, No. 4
Winter 2005

  • Winthrop Ranked Among Top 5% in Nation For Overall Clinical Excellence -- Two Years in a Row!

  • Winthrop Gets Highest Marks from Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

  • Cardiac Services Score High in NY State Department of Health Reports

  • Pulmonary Hypertension Program Helps Patients Breathe Easier, Live Healthier

  • Winthrop Neurosurgeon Performs "Bloodless" Spine Surgery

  • Horticultural Program Branches Off Child Life Program

  • Popular Teen Diabetes Group Focuses on Fun

  • Weight Control Program Fosters Family Involvement, Healthy Choices

  • Chronic Lung Disease Patients Breathe Easier Thanks to WEB

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Center Emphasizes Importance of Early Diagnosis & Treatment

  • Stroke Peer Visitor Program Keeps Smiles Going

  • Winthrop's Breast Imaging & Diagnostic Center: Accessible to Patients, Timely Reports for Physicians


  • Yuletide Ball

  • Jets Women's Organization & Project Sunshine Spread Cheer in Winthrop's Pediatric Center

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  • Participants get peer support, build friendships, share knowledge

    To address the concerning increase of diabetes in teenagers, Winthrop-University Hospital has created a specialized program blending diabetes education with fun and support to help diabetic teens cope with, and learn more about, their condition.

    Drawing from Winthrop's nationally recognized Pediatric Diabetes Program, Jean Corrigan, RN, Pediatric Diabetes Coordinator, has creatively developed a teen group that learns through participation in enjoyable and bonding activities.

    With sponsorship help from several companies, Ms. Corrigan and Diabetes Educator Susan Ruggierio, RN, MS, CDE, the group's coordinator, have scheduled "Teen Event Nights," exciting, free bi-monthly outings, including rock climbing and bowling, where the adolescents learn about each other's strengths, as well as their own. At dinners in restaurants they mix food and gab -- -- l as their own. At dinners in restaurants they mix food and gab -- t each other's strengths, as well as their own. At dinners in restaurants they mix food and gab -- Winthrop Neurosurgeon Performs "Bloodless" Spine Surgeryactivities teens love -- talking about nutrition, as well as the importance exercising in relaxed settings. Since they began two years ago, the "Teen Event Nights" have become very popular.

    One enthusiastic participant, 17-year-old Karena Sisalli, was diagnosed with diabetes when she was three. Her parents immediately enrolled her in Winthrop's Pediatric Diabetes Program, designed for diabetic children from infancy through adolescence.

    Today, she regards the teen support group as a way to make friends with peers who also have diabetes. "It's an opportunity to meet people and talk about things openly," she explained. "And it is a ton of fun. It's a place where you can relate to others and, at the same time, you can get away from it, but there are still people there to help you." And, with 30-40 teens at each event, participants are guaranteed to find a shoulder to lean on.

    While parents are not involved in the teen group events, they do get the chance to meet and talk with other parents facing the same situation. "It's great not only for the support level, but it's a chance for them to give their kids more freedom, and they don't have to worry about who they are with," explained Ms. Sisalli. "They're with kids just like them."

    For more information about Winthrop's Pediatric Diabetes Program, call (516) 663-3090 or 1-866-WINTHROP.

    The Pat Lyons Foundation donated $40,000--the second gift in two years--to help provide support for the psychosocial programs at Winthrop's Cancer Center for KIDS. (Pictured L to R): Brian Lyons (Pat's dad); Dr. Mark Weinblatt, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Director of the Cancer Center for KIDS; Irene Lyons, The Pat Lyons Foundation; Gary Samuels, Golf Classic raffle winner/donor; Patricia Lyons (Pat's mom); Cheryl Scarry, The Pat Lyons Foundation. Seated left to right: Jim Finn with seven-month-old Danielle, The Pat Lyons Foundation; Patrick Mate Lyons (Pat's three-year-old son); and Christine Dato, The Pat Lyons Foundation.

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