Whidbey General Hospital

Diabetes Education & Management

Our Diabetes Education Program offers materials, classes and individualized instruction to address the many aspects of managing diabetes. We are accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators for our comprehensive approach in meeting the needs of individuals on Whidbey Island with diabetes.

Your Expert Diabetes Team, Close to Home

Diabetes EducatorsWhy is diabetes education important?

Although your doctor prescribes your diabetes medications and monitors your blood glucose control with lab work, your success with managing diabetes relies heavily on the healthy choices you make daily.

Diabetes medications work better when balanced with increased activity levels and carbohydrates in your diet. Education can help you effectively manage your diabetes with its many challenges.

Certified Diabetes Educators (above, from left) Erin Simms, RD, Don Miller, RN and Line Goulet, RN, work with you and your physician to create an individualized plan to successfully manage your diabetes and reduce risks for complications.


Our Services

Diabetes Self Management Education (DSME)

Consisting of four two-hour classes, this program covers:

    • The causes of diabetes
    • Blood glucose monitoring goals
    • Healthy eating and exercise management
    • Understanding medications
    • Effective coping techniques
    • Preventing diabetes-related complications

Telephone support is provided at three, six and 12 months after completion of the program.

Individual appointments are available when new needs arise, such as:

    • Changing blood glucose control
    • Adding or considering the addition of insulin
    • Frequent episodes of low blood sugar

We teach insulin self-adjustment when recommended by your physician.


Pre-Diabetes Class

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are between 100 and 125 mg/dl. Studies have shown that individuals with pre-diabetes have an increased risk for heart disease and developing Type 2 diabetes.

Healthy eating and exercise can prevent or significantly delay Type 2 diabetes and decrease risk for heart disease. The pre-diabetes class is designed to help individuals develop the lifestyle changes necessary to address these risks. We provide two, two-hour classes one month apart plus follow-up support by phone.


Diabetes Health Group

Diabetes classTo address the ongoing aspects of living with diabetes, we offer diabetes education and support sessions every other month. The meetings include time to share tips and discuss challenges in managing diabetes plus current or new information about advancements in diabetes management. Programs on specific topics are also offered.

Session information is available in our Classes and Events section or by calling Medical Ambulatory Care at 360-678-7656, ext. 2650 or 360-321-7656, ext. 2650.


Insulin Pump Therapy

If you are using insulin injections with each meal, insulin pumps are another method for insulin delivery. Pumps infuse rapid-acting insulin through an infusion site that you change every three days. We provide training and follow-up for three of the most popular pumps — Animas, Medtronic and Omnipod.


Continuous Glucose Sensors

Continuous glucose sensors help evaluate fluctuations in your blood glucose levels throughout the day and night by measuring interstitial glucose every few minutes and creating a graph of the measurements.

The device is worn for a three to five day session. The results are downloaded to a computer and reviewed with you and your physician. In some cases, insurance will cover regular use of the sensor to help improve control for individuals with type 1 diabetes.


Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)

Erin SimmsIn addition to diabetes classes, our Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator can provide Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), which involves individualized instruction on managing your diabetes with diet.

Carbohydrate counting is the main strategy used to educate clients on using food as a tool to manage diabetes. Medicare and most insurance will pay for MNT minus your co-pay. A separate referral is needed. To learn more about MNT, call Erin Simms 360-321-7656, ext. 3202 or 360-678-7656 ext. 3202.


How Do I Begin?

Ask your physician for a referral for diabetes education. Most insurance companies will cover diabetes instruction by recognized programs when:

    • You are newly diagnosed with Type 1,Type 2, or Gestational Diabetes
    • You have never had prior education on diabetes management
    • There is a change in your diabetes management treatment plan

Once you are referred, Medicare covers an initial 10 hours of diabetic instruction and an additional two hours annually thereafter. They will also pay for three hours of Medical Nutrition Therapy in a calendar year plus two hours every following year.

Pre-diabetes classes are not covered by most health plans but are low cost.

Preventing Diabetes is a two-hour class held regularly at Whidbey General. The program is open to the public and free to attend.


Contact Us

Whidbey General Hospital
Diabetes Education Program
Medical Ambulatory Care Clinic
101 North Main Street
Coupeville WA 98277

360-678-7656, ext. 2650
360-321-7656 ext. 2650



Learn More at these Websites

      • American Diabetes Association - seeks to “prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.”
      • Diabetic Living Online - provides information on topics such as diabetes education, nutrition, medication and weight loss
      • dLife - provides practical approaches to the ongoing challenge of managing diabetes.
      • JDRF - is “the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.”
      • BD Medical – diabetes care information from a producer of medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment and diagnostics.


Diabetes ABCs

Healthy Food Choices

A is for A1C, a test that shows average blood sugar for the past three months. It helps evaluate overall diabetes control.

  • Suggested goal: Below 7

B is for Blood Pressure, which is important to control to prevent diabetes complications.

  • Suggested goal: Below 130/80

C is for Cholesterol. These numbers tell how much fat is in your blood. HDL helps protect the heart while LDL and triglycerides can increase the risk of heart disease. Suggested goals:

  • HDL above 40 (men)
  • HDL above 50 (women)
  • LDL below 100
  • Triglycerides below 150

Learn more about Diabetes Self Management Education at 360-678-7656, ext. 2650 or 360-321-7656, ext. 2650.