Bringing research-based health care to patients with diabetes
By Erika Z. Byrd
Desert Regional Medical Center's recent affiliation with the renowned Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston provides expanded resources and a team approach for patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and related conditions. The Joslin Diabetes Center affiliate at Desert Regional Medical Center celebrated its grand opening this past March in the Stergios Building on the medical center campus.
Under the direction of Medical Director Pushpinder S. Guleria, MD, and Program Director Sande (Rowlee) Quattlebaum, MS, RN, ACNP-BC, the center’s services include diabetes education focusing on dietary and exercise counseling, a community gym, pharmacologic interventions, point-of-care testing, clinical research studies, and novel technologies like insulin pumps and realtime continuous glucose monitoring.
“Joslin is a very well-respected teaching and research organization that is affiliated with Harvard Medical School,” Quattlebaum said, “In the diabetes community, it’s as prestigious a name as the Mayo or Cleveland clinics.”
Desert Regional Medical Center has long been known for its diabetes education program, so the transition to the Joslin affiliation was easy. “Being affiliated with Joslin has kicked us up a notch,” said Joy Richardson, RD, CDE, who has worked at Desert Regional Medical Center for 10 years and in diabetes education for 40 years. “It has streamlined our educational presentations. All our program materials are based on medical guidelines by the renowned physicians and researchers at Joslin.”
Currently, the center offers three educational classes, two of which require physician referral and are usually covered by most insurance: “Diabetes Today,” a sequenced class over four days covers what to eat and exercise basics for newly diagnosed patients or those wanting to get back on track; and “Real World Diabetes” is for those on insulin. A third class, “Just A Start,” is aimed at people with prediabetes, and is available for a flat $25 fee.
“There are so many myths when it comes to eating and diabetes,” Richardson said. “We teach people real everyday nutrition — how to put a good meal together and how to eat out in restaurants.”
Wayne Hritz, 68, owner of Morongo Hills Realty in Morongo Valley, was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He does not smoke or drink, and he’s not overweight. He does, however, have a family history of diabetes.
“I just crossed the border line on my lab tests,” Hritz said, “but they believe that with diet and exercise, I won’t have to take any medication.”
Dr. Guleria recommended Hritz attend the “Diabetes Today” series. “Joy really keeps up on what’s going on,” Hritz said. “I got a lot of good things out of this class. I highly recommend it to anyone.”
For more information about the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at Desert Regional Medical Center, or to request a referral form for the educational classes to give to your physician, please call 760-323-6881.
Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate Desert Regional Medical Center Stergios Building 1180 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262 760-323-6881 www.desertregional.com/diabetes
Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate Staff (left to right): Olivia Almanza, Claudia Hernandez-Flores, Bobbie Anderson, Dr. Pushpinder S. Guleria, Sande (Rowlee) Quattlebaum, Joy Richardson, Diana Garcia, Mary Zinder Photo: Mike Moorman