National Nutrition Month

During the month of March, we’re celebrating National Nutrition Month by providing information on services available in the DCH Outpatient Clinic to help you with your nutrition needs, and health care available on-site specifically for individuals with diabetes and excess weight.

At DCH, our Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetic Educator, Linda Klejch, helps patients manage their health by providing medical nutrition therapy. This process includes reviewing a person’s eating habits and lifestyle, assessing nutritional status, and creating a personalized nutrition treatment plan. If you are referred for nutrition therapy, your customized program may help you manage your blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, or address other health concerns. This process can be especially helpful for patients living with type 2 diabetes, or with excess weight.

Diabetes has many risk factors, and affects people in different ways. If you are living with diabetes, or think you may have developed diabetes, the team at the DCH Outpatient Clinic is here to help. Four (4) days each month, the DCH Outpatient Clinic hosts Dr. Haytham Kawji, MD, to provide endocrinology services. Dr. Kawji is a board certified endocrinologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating diabetes, thyroid disorders, parathyroid disorders, adrenal gland disorders, pituitary gland disorders, osteoporosis, hypogonadism, and more.

We’re proud to provide a well-rounded approach to serving patients living with diabetes and other endocrine disorders. In our region, access to Endocrinologists and Certified Diabetic Educators is very limited, but our comprehensive diabetes management program is available on-site at Decatur County Hospital, saving you the stress of traveling far from home for specialized care.

Diabetes education is a covered Medicare benefit when delivered by a Certified Diabetic Educator (CDE) through an accredited program. In our accredited program, our CDE Linda Klejch, can help with: diabetes management, healthy nutrition, managing your medications, healthy fitness activities, reducing the risk of disease progression, utilizing glucose management equipment, and affordable medication access.

If you are living with diabetes, it’s likely that you are dealing with multiple conditions affecting your health. If you need help to manage all of your conditions and learn how to live with them, our newest program is here to help you through your journey. Our Community Paramedicine Program was started to serve patients who have multiple conditions, and sometimes have no other choice for health care than the emergency room. Program coordinator, Courtney Horney, COTA/L, directs this program for patients. Using her skills along with our certified Paramedics, we offer home visits to help you navigate health issues caused by taking medications incorrectly, falls due to an unsafe living environment, or misunderstanding of your chronic health concerns.

If excess weight is affecting your health, one of our newest clinics may be able to help. Our Medical Weight Loss Clinic is a customized effective solution to help you lose weight and increase the quality of your health. Elizabeth “Libby” Allen is experienced in providing individualized care to help you be successful, and to find a program that meets your needs. Libby will monitor your medical conditions along with your primary care provider, while providing guidance on medical interventions that may help you lose weight.

In addition to providing coaching about healthy lifestyle changes including improved diet and increased physical activity, Libby may help patients by providing referrals to Linda for our nutrition therapy program, referrals to our other clinics (endocrinology, orthopedic surgery, chronic pain, urology, women’s health, cardiology, general and vascular surgery, podiatry, neurology, and more), and advice on medications that may help patients lose weight. These medications may help decrease appetite, cut food cravings, increase the feeling of fullness, and decrease absorption of fat.

A successful weight loss plan does not look the same for everyone. During your initial consultation with Libby, she will do an evaluation to learn about your lifestyle, past history with weight loss, genetic factors, and other health concerns. After this consultation, Libby will work directly with you to develop a plan for your weight loss goals. Ongoing monitoring will ensure that the program works for you, and will provide opportunity for adjustment to meet your goals.

Depending on your insurance, you likely not need a referral to see Dr. Kawji or Libby. However, you will need a referral from a provider (such as one of our clinic providers) to access Linda’s services.  If you are looking for a partner in your health journey, call the DCH Outpatient Clinic at 641-446-2285 to learn more and schedule your consultation with one of our experts. To learn more about our Community Paramedicine Program, contact Courtney directly by calling 641-446-2342.