Baptist Health Community Outreach Seeks Diabetes Patients to Benefit from Pilot Program

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health Community Outreach is seeking volunteers for an innovative, year-long diabetes self-management program in central Arkansas. The program is designed to measure if technology can help individuals with diabetes increase their understanding of the disease and learn self-management techniques including exercising and nutrition.

Recruitment is now underway for 250 individuals living in Pulaski County who want help managing their diabetes. Participants will be split into two groups of 125. One group will be provided with smartphones with relevant apps along with monitoring devices such as glucometers and Fitbits to help them manage their disease. The second group will consist of participants more comfortable with standard monitoring devices who will receive tools such as blood pressure machines, test strips and walking logs. Both groups will have access to a support team that consists of a certified diabetes educator, dietitian and exercise specialist to help them reach their health goals.

“Medically underserved Arkansans have limited resources and access to care, and this can result in poor health outcomes,” said Teresa Conner, Baptist Health Community Outreach manager. “Our goal with this program is to help reduce complications of diabetes in addition to reducing risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose by increasing the patient’s knowledge about their disease. The program will evaluate how the use of technology affects health outcomes.”

“Wireless technology can be a tool that can help improve a person’s health, especially for those who must manage a chronic illness or disease. Technology makes it easier to set alerts to take medication, send results to one’s physician, and access resources for achieving healthier outcomes long-term,” said Kristi Crum, president of the South Central Region of Verizon Wireless.

At the end of the one-year program, Baptist Health will analyze and compare data from each group to determine if the steps taken helped reduce complications of diabetes.  They will also evaluate if the group with the innovative technology had a more positive result than the group who had access to traditional means to monitor and improve their diabetes.

Verizon is providing the technology and funding for the program.

Individuals living in Pulaski County who have been diagnosed with diabetes, are on diabetes medication, or are required to monitor their glucose at home may be eligible for this free program. Please call 501-202-1540 for more information or to register. You may also complete the assessment form and either fax or mail it in to Community Outreach to see if you qualify.

About Baptist Health
With more than 175 points of access, including eight hospitals, Baptist Health is committed to delivering “All Our Best” in healthcare to Arkansans. For more information about Baptist Health Community Outreach, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST.