Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center Celebrates Its New Location
On Thursday, May 20, Washington Hospital Healthcare System held a health fair and open house celebrating the opening of the new Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center. The event, which opened with remarks from Nancy Farber, Chief Executive Officer of Washington Hospital and Dr. Bernard Stewart, president of the Washington Township Health Care District Board of Directors, was attended by approximately 300 guests and included tours of the brand new facility.
In 2007, the Alameda County Community Needs Assessment showed that Union City, Newark and Fremont ranked near the top of the list of cities in Alameda County for having the highest mortality rates from diabetes. During her introduction, Farber emphasized Washington Hospital’s dedicated efforts in expanding the diabetes program to help people manage the chronic disease.
"As a community hospital focused on meeting the needs of our residents, once we were made aware of this disturbing data, the Board of Directors agreed to allocate resources to developing programs around diabetes in order to improve the health of our community," she said. "Today, we are here to celebrate the beginning of the next chapter for diabetes services within Washington Township. A well deserved new home for a very deserving program."
When addressing the gathered guests, Dr. Stewart mentioned his first-hand experience of seeing the affects of diabetes as it related to dental health and the devastating affects diabetes can have on the body if left untreated.
"In my own practice, I see how important treatment, education and prevention, if possible, is with diabetes," he said. "That’s why this program is so important to the District and is a perfect demonstration of how the Health Care District responds to the health care needs of the residents."
Over the years, the Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center has expanded its diabetes program to include a full range of services, from group classes to one-on-one classes geared toward specific topics related to diabetes management. As a result, the program has become certified by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and is recognized by the ADA for Quality Self-Management Education.
Jake Fox, catcher and third baseman with the Oakland A’s made a special appearance at the open house to show his support for diabetes education. Fox and his wife Allison are passionate about raising awareness about diabetes, particularly since Allison was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was a teenager. At the time, she was told by doctors that she was at risk to participate in sports because of her condition, but she was able to compete in cross country throughout college – thanks to a good diet and regularly monitoring of her blood sugar.
"For us, I think it really hits home because a lot of people tell kids they can’t participate in things because they have diabetes," Fox said. "Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t participate. You can still do the things you want to do with your life. You just have to take a little more care of yourself than most people do."
People attending the health fair had the opportunity to receive free glucose (blood sugar), blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, meet the center’s staff members and learn about the wide variety of diabetes services and education programs that are offered at the new center.
The evening’s events concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony performed by members of the Washington Township Health Care District Board of Directors that included Dr. William Nicholson, Second Vice President; Patricia Danielson, RHIT, Treasurer; and Dr. Bernard Stewart, President.
"As a Board member, I’m proud that we can have a hand in making a difference in the health care needs of the community," Stewart added. "When the Board of Directors was made aware of the disturbing trend with diabetes in our community, we decided to do something about it and fund the type of services this District deserves."
The Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center is located at 3575 Beacon Avenue in Fremont and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more about the diabetes services and programs that are offered, please call (510) 745-6556 or visit www.whhs.com/diabetes.