Graduate of the Telephonic Diabetes Education and Support Program© thanks his Diabetes Educator!

MMEHT member, Brian Lawrence, a 78 year old retired law enforcement agent, is thrilled to have this opportunity to give accolades to his diabetes educator, Cheryl Carrol, RN from the Millinocket Diabetes Program! He believed that being accountable to his educator, made him take a hard look at what he was (or wasn't doing) to help stop the complications that could arise if he didn't take control of his diabetes.

Brian said the major motivator to enroll in TDES© was based on family history of diabetes. He knows firsthand the severity of the consequences if you do not take the diagnosis of diabetes seriously. He also is extremely grateful for the copayment waiver of his diabetes medications and supplies.

Brian participated in all 3 program for TDES© and wishes there was another one. He added he feels confident he is controlling his diabetes thanks to the education and guidance he received from his diabetes educator and thanks the TDES© program for the opportunity.

When asked what changes have occurred since participating in TDES©, Brian said he exercises more, drinks more fluids, (besides coffee), and he was able to meet with a physical therapist who showed him how to exercise effectively with rubber bands. Without Cheryl's guidance, that would not have happened. He continues to watch his diet, and admitted he is eating on a more consistent basis vs. before he would skip meals.

If Brian could add one thing it would be - "This Program Works!" It makes you aware of what is happening with you and teaches you about your habits in a very positive way! He also wishes more companies offered the TDES© program and once they see how the members of their health plan with diabetes are working hard to stay healthy including taking control of their diabetes, perhaps copayments for medications and supplies could be lowered. That would be huge motivator for diabetics to take care of themselves.

Debra Palmer - Waldo CAP

I attribute my success to my Diabetes Educator! I felt a real connection with her immediately and she showed me she truly cared about my health and me. My diabetes educator listened to what I was saying and worked with me to adjust my medication. Before long, I was feeling better, more rested, clear-headed and physically stronger. The TDES© program and my diabetes educator changed my life!

TDES© Help with No Hassle!

Program Grad Nicky Clark says "A great program for people with diabetes - no matter how long you have had diabetes!"

I am a busy mother of two children and work full time as the Administrative Assistant for a small town in Maine. This is like being a town manger and I need to attend many meetings between rushing to get my young daughter to after school activities.

Enrollment went very smooth and I was so happy with my first visit with my diabetes educator - Margaret Buschmann at nearby Redington-Fairview General Hospital. I knew I made the right choice right away. She really listened to me.

I have had type 1 diabetes for over 30 years and use an Insulin Pump. People think this pump does all the diabetes treatment and makes it easy for me. They do not realize how much stress makes it even harder to control blood sugar levels. My educator and I worked to manage the up’s and downs of my changing schedule and reduce my stress with exercise - even if it is only a short stretch break 2 or 3 times at work. She helped with small things like my dry skin and my biggest challenge - to stop smoking. I am not there yet, but she gave me lots of support and resources instead of a scolding.

It was so convenient. We scheduled appointments around my workday and I did not lose any time after that first in person appointment. The monthly contacts took no time at all. I cannot say enough about how helpful this was.

There are always new things to learn and this was much easier than asking a busy doctor. The support came from someone who really understood what I go through each day to stay healthy!

MMEHT Member Praises Wellness Works Program

Randy Keenan states a Wellness Works Health Promotion Coordinator made him realize he wasn’t taking care of himself. He had been told by his primary care provider he was “pre-diabetic” and after discussing his blood sugars with his Health Promotion Coordinator, Randy decided it was time to take control of his health! The Health Promotion Coordinator provided him with information about TDES© (Telephonic Diabetes Education and Support© program) and also suggested he meet with an endocrinologist.

Randy took the Health Promotion Coordinator advice and met with an endocrinologist, who took over his complete healthcare. He also took advantage of another great program offered to MMEHT members, TDES©. Between the TDES© program and following his endocrinologist direction, Randy has lost 30 pounds, and lowered his A1c (an average of blood glucose levels over 3 months) from 8.1- to 6.1. He managed this by listening to his diabetes educator about changing his diet, getting more physical activity along with the tremendous support he received throughout his participation in TDES©. He believes knowing his diabetes educator truly cares how he was doing, helps him continue improving his overall health.

While enrolled in TDES© , he learned the importance of seeing a dentist 4 times a year, having his eyes checked every year, and meeting with his primary care provider at least once a year are vital to maintaining the great work he has accomplished over the past 3 years.

In wrap up, Randy says "anyone who has diabetes should enroll in TDES©, because this program will definitely help you take control”. He is extremely grateful to the MMEHT Wellness Works program and TDES©. Randy is a graduate of all 3 years of TDES© services offered through the MMEHT health plan. Randall works for the City of South Portland and lives in Windham.

Reginald Winslow - Ellsworth Water Department

We would like to introduce you to Reginald Winslow from the Ellsworth Water Department, an MMEHT member and a TDES© graduate! In his words, this is how TDES© worked for him...

"Hello, my name is Reggie and I work for the Ellsworth Water Department and I love my hometown of Surry! I spend most of my workdays either in the office or doing field work. For fun I like to play with my three grandchildren.

I first signed up for TDES© because of the waived copays for my diabetes medication and supplies, but soon realized I had a lot to learn about my diabetes. My diabetes education program at the Maine Coast Diabetes and Nutrition taught me a lot about how the foods you expect to affect your blood sugar actually do.

Thanks to enrolling in TDES© I have better eating habits (which was difficult) and am more conscious of what is in my food. I also understand carbohydrates and though I love to eat, I am mindful of my carb intake.

When I was first diagnosed (with diabetes) my AlC was 11; it now ranges 7.3 - 8.0. This is a great program, the education is there, and the people I have worked with are great and extremely helpful. The participant book I received from TDES© is wonderful, pretty informative with links to websites. A great resource to use to ask your doctor questions about your diabetes.

I recommend this program to everyone to learn what has to be dealt with and about the struggle of food choices. It is easy to say, 'oh, I can do that,' then reality hits!"