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Winthrop University Hospital

Diabetes Education Center Celebrates 30th Anniversary



This year marks an impressive milestone for the Diabetes Education Center at Winthrop-University Hospital – 30 years of service to the community.

Since opening its doors in 1979, the Diabetes Education Center has helped improve the lives of countless individuals living with diabetes through its highly regarded educational and support programs. A pioneer in the field of diabetes education, the Diabetes Education Center was the first outpatient education program in New York State accredited by the national American Diabetes Association. Today, the Center continues to equip adults and children with the knowledge and tools necessary to manage diabetes.

“With one out of every 13 people in the United States living with diabetes and the trend of childhood and adult obesity on the rise, diabetes has become a major health concern for millions of Americans each year,” said Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, RN, BC-ADM, MA, CDE, Director of the Diabetes Education Center at Winthrop. “Yet because of the special educational and support programs that are available through Winthrop’s Diabetes Education Center, individuals of all ages can learn how to manage diabetes and lead healthy, active lives.”

Following are just a few of the highlights from the Diabetes Education Center’s 30th anniversary year:

Outstanding Achievement in Diabetes Education

In April, the Diabetes Education Center was recognized with the “Outstanding Achievement in Diabetes Education” Award by the Metropolitan New York Association of Diabetes Educators in honor of the Center’s 30 years of service to the community.

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8 Dining Out With Diabetes

Among the Diabetes Education Center’s innovative programs is the Dining Out with Diabetes Program which teaches strategies for enjoying restaurant dining without sacrificing diabetes self-management. Following an informative presentation by Lynne Chimon, RD, one of the Center’s registered dietitians who created the program, participants have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned by selecting and enjoying a healthy meal. Thanks to a generous $5,000 grant from the Roslyn Savings Foundation, the Diabetes Education Center has been able to offer educational programs at local restaurants, including Uncle Bacala’s in Garden City Park and Red Lobster in Carle Place, throughout the year.

Letter to the Roslyn Savings Foundation

“Thanks to your supportive program, I recently dined out with a group from Winthrop-University Hospital. The education that I received that night was invaluable.”

— FS, New Rochelle, NY

Special Quilt for National Display

9 Members of the Kids Interested in Diabetes (KIDs) support group offered through the Diabetes Education Center at Winthrop recently made a special quilt representing “My Life with Diabetes.” The quilt, which illustrates what living with type 1 diabetes means to the children through creatively designed quilt squares, was created for the Quilt for Life Project.

The project is initiated by Children with Diabetes – an organization that promotes understanding of the care and treatment of diabetes, especially in children. The KIDs’ work of art was recently on display at the Children with Diabetes Annual Friends for Life Conference in Orlando, Florida. A photo of the quilt is also posted on the Children with Diabetes website at www.childrenwithdiabetes.com.

Tools for the Educator

9 Certified diabetes educators, registered nurses and registered dietitians gathered at “Making Learning Active: Tools for the Educator” – an interactive educational conference hosted by Winthrop’s Diabetes Education Center at the deSeversky Conference Center on May 21, 2009. Feedback from the participants was outstanding; some even stated it was “the best conference of their career.”

Pictured at the conference (l.-r.) are guest speaker Barbara Schreiner, PhD, RN, CDE; Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, Director of the Diabetes Education Center; and G. Morgan Browne, Chairman of the OSI Pharmaceuticals Foundation – one of the organizations whose support was instrumental in making the conference possible.
Vol. 19, No. 2
Summer 2009

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