In 2015, the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence, the Lowcountry Area Health Education Center and Palmetto Care Connections began a collaboration to provide diabetes self-management education and training via telehealth to rural areas of South Carolina. The intent was to expand the reach of diabetes education to those in the state unable to travel to receive the education. The education is offered in a series of five classes that cover all aspects of diabetes self-management as outlined by both the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The classes are taught by a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator.
Thus far, there have been eight complete series of classes in Walterboro, with a ninth series in process. There have been 57 Walterboro participants referred to these classes and 43 participants have attended at least one class. Thirty participants have graduated from the classes. An additional clinical site in Barnwell county joined via telehealth during the fourth series. Twenty participants have been referred to the Barnwell classes and 11 have attended at least one class, while six participants have graduated from the Barnwell site. Follow-up evaluation is being conducted to determine the efficacy of using telehealth for diabetes education.
For more information about the program, please contact Lowcountry AHEC at 843-782-5052.