COP faculty member initiates recognition of UAMC Adult Diabetes Program

The University of Arizona Medical Center’s adult diabetes education program, based in the Abrams Public Health Center adjacent to UAMC – South Campus (now Banner - University Medical Center South), recently received recognition by the Education Recognition Program (ERP) of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Maryam Fazel, a 2003 alumna and assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, and Alaa Bagalagel, ambulatory care pharmacy resident, led the effort to obtain the recognition.

Fazel and Bagalagel worked closely with Merri Pendergrass, professor of medicine with the UA Division of Endocrinology and diabetes program director at UAHN and the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, in attaining this recognition.

“This is an independent verification that our comprehensive diabetes-management program at the UA Health Network meets or exceeds national standards,” Fazel says. “Alaa deserves special credit for all the work he put into applying for this recognition.”

The recognition was awarded based on the program’s meeting ADA-endorsed National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support programs. The ADA ERP is one of two certifying bodies deemed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Diabetes Self-Management Training.

The newly recognized adult diabetes program provides individual and group instruction for patients and their family members. The education team is a multi-professional group of endocrinologists, pharmacists, dietitians and nurses.

The clinical program aligns with sessions offered in the Diabetes Prevention and Education Center. These sessions, which are free to all patients and community members, include cooking demonstrations and education about healthy eating, exercise, medications and strategies to reduce diabetes and its complications.

Pendergrass notes that the ADA requires numerous features to be included in a recognized program. For example, in addition to providing a comprehensive educational curriculum, the program must have an advisory board and a plan evaluating program results and pursuing ongoing improvements.  She adds, “This assures patients that our team provides the very best care possible and gives them the tools they need to self-manage their diabetes.”

Photo: Maryam Fazel (left) and Alaa Bagalagel

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