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Winthrop University Hospital

Questions and Links


Why do I have to see a dietitian? Can't you send me a diet in the mail?

There is no such thing as a diabetic diet and learning how to make the best food choices is not a do-it-yourself project. A dietitian will design a meal plan customized to your schedule, food likes or dislikes and your general health. Making healthful food choices is an important part of managing diabetes and there are skills to learn like reading a food label, making choices when eating out and knowing how foods will affect your blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Simple advice such as "avoid sugar" or "don't eat any white foods" needlessly limits your food choices.

Think of the Diabetes Education Center dietitian as an eating coach. You'll leave with the knowledge, skills and tools required to make a variety of food choices in real-life settings.

What do I need to bring?

Please bring a list of your prescription medications, vitamins and supplements to your visits. It also helps to bring your blood glucose meter, if you have one.

If you are seeing a dietitian, write down what you are eating for 3 days and bring the food record to your visit. This will help the dietitian to learn more about your usual eating habits, food choices and schedule for personalizing the nutrition advice.

Will my insurance cover diabetes education?

If you are currently under a physician's care for diabetes (regardless of whether or not you are taking oral medication or insulin therapy for the condition), you are eligible to enroll in the Center's programs.

Program tuition is approved for reimbursement by Medicare. The New York State Diabetes Insurance Mandate requires that health insurance policies reimburse for diabetes self-management education. Because health insurance policies differ, please check with your insurance provider on the specifics of your plan's coverage.

Medicare offers two separate benefits for the education of people with diabetes. The Diabetes Self-Management Education benefit and Medical Nutrition Therapy benefit. Both benefits allow for initial education and annual follow-up. Call the Diabetes Education Center for more information.

Can my spouse/family come?

Because family support is so important for people who live with diabetes, family members are welcome to attend all of our programs.

Do you have programs for children?

The Diabetes Education Center offers the following free support programs to help children and parents deal with the range of feelings associated with living with diabetes and empower them to successfully manage the disease through knowledge:

Toddler and Preschool Support Program

  • For children up to age 6.
  • Parents, grandparents, and siblings welcome to attend simultaneous program led by Certified Diabetes Nurse Educator.
  • Meets monthly on Saturday mornings from 10:00 to 11:30am.

    Kids Interested in Diabetes KIDs Program

  • An educational program for children age 7 to 12 who learn about diabetes through play.
  • Siblings are invited twice per year.
  • Meets monthly on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 pm in the room next to Kindred Spirits.

    Kindred Spirits: United Parents of Children with Diabetes

  • Support group for parents of children of all ages with diabetes.
  • Meets monthly on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 pm in the room next to the KIDs program.

    Please call the Diabetes Education Center at (516) 663-2350 for schedules and locations.

    Links and Numbers

    Winthrop Smoking Cessation Call (516) 663-2579.

    Visit the Winthrop Weight Management or call (516) 663-3438.

    Visit the Winthrop Clinical Trials Center or call (516) 663-9582.
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    Winthrop-University Hospital
    259 First Street | Mineola NY 11501 | 516-663-0333

    This site provides information as a resource. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
    Always consult a physician or healthcare provider for treatment and guidance toward good health.
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