Taking Diabetes to Heart: An Action Plan For Vineyarders With Diabetes

Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes.

One in seven patients at Community Health Centers nationwide has diabetes.

Do you, or does someone you care about, suffer from diabetes? Do you have access to the resources you need to help manage it? Island Health Care can help.

November is National Diabetes Month. This year’s theme—understanding the link between diabetes and heart disease—is a critical one, because it underscores the importance of a holistic approach to managing your health.

National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month. This year’s theme—understanding the link between diabetes and heart disease—is a critical one, because it underscores the importance of a holistic approach to managing your health.

Why are adults with diabetes at a higher risk of heart disease? According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart.”

NIDDK emphasizes that the recommended steps to manage diabetes are the same ones that can help lower your chances of having heart disease or a stroke:

  • Stop smoking or using other tobacco products.
  • Manage your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
  • Develop or maintain healthy lifestyle habits—be more physically active and learn ways to manage stress.
  • Take medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

Chronic Disease Management At Island Health Care

As part of the hospital-initiated grant project MV Partnership for Health, health center staff are trained in the highly acclaimed Stanford teaching model for chronic disease self-management.

Class leaders run regular six-week classes to educate and guide patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease who wish to become active in their own health.

People learn how to develop effective, life-enhancing action plans. Patients meet others with the same chronic illness, learn from each other’s experiences and help each other make incredible strides in controlling symptoms, slowing disease progression, improving how they feel and what they can personally accomplish on a daily basis.

Contact Kathleen Samways at ksamways@ihimv.org or (508) 627-5797 ext. 114 to learn more.

For more information on the latest trends in diabetes care, check out NIDDK’s Discoveries and Practice blog.

Stay Informed

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At this time, Island Health Care is not able to see walk-in patients.

If you are already a primary care patient of IHC and need to be seen right away, please call us at 508-939-9358 and we will do our best to schedule you for a same- or next-day appointment. Please do not show up at the clinic without a scheduled appointment.

If you are not currently a patient of IHC, you may submit a new patient packet and we will contact you to schedule a new patient appointment. If you require walk-in/same day care, please go to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Emergency Room.