The St. Vincent Diabetes Center has provided community outreach and education for more than 50 years
For 50 years, St. Vincent Healthcare has provided multidisciplinary diabetes self-management training to thousands of people with diabetes and their families as well as healthcare professionals. In fact, St. Vincent Healthcare’s Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) program is the longest standing DSMES program in Montana. For these efforts, St. Vincent was recognized with the Organizational Leadership Award in Diabetes Care by the Montana DPHSS Diabetes Program at the Annual Montana Diabetes Professional Conference. The award recognizes an organization, group, or corporation that has significantly contributed to either preventing diabetes and chronic disease or to improving the quality of life for individuals who are living with diabetes.
“This award is a wonderful acknowledgement of decades of work to offer state-of-the-art diabetes care and comprehensive education in Billings and in our surrounding communities,” said Justen Rudolph, MD, Medical Director of the St. Vincent Diabetes Center.
The St. Vincent Diabetes Center was founded in 1971 with a focus on a multi-disciplinary team approach to care and patient education. Diabetes education to patients and families has been provided individually, as well as in a class or group settings. In addition, the center has offered an extensive weekend outreach program with staff traveling to over thirty communities in Montana and northern Wyoming, averaging five trips per year over thirty years. Local monthly meetings, diabetes screenings, teaching in schools for kids with diabetes, and support groups have helped connect individuals with diabetes and their families to resources and information. The St. Vincent Diabetes Center is also one of the four original sites in the Diabetes Prevention Program which is still active today in collaboration with the Billings YMCA.
Additionally, the St. Vincent Diabetes Center staff were charter members of the MT Diabetes Advisory Control Project Advisory Coalition that first met in April 1995 in Helena. This multidisciplinary group of Montanans first met to discover the burden of diabetes in our state. In 1992, the center became recognized by the American Diabetes Association in accordance with the national standards for diabetes patient education programs and has maintained this recognition ever since.