One Brooklyn Health has announced the opening of a new medical suite designed to assist patients in their management and treatment of diabetes.
The Diabetes Center of Excellence is equipped with a team of medical experts specializing in diabetes care, including a board-certified endocrinologist, a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist registered nurse, a nurse practitioner dedicated to the care of diabetes and metabolic disease, a PharmD, health coaches, and a behavioral health social worker. The center will also facilitate the treatment of complications of diabetes with a team of cardiologists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, as well as vascular surgery doctors.
The rationale for opening a center specializing in diabetes care is three-fold, explained Dr. Kurt Kodroff, chief quality officer for One Brooklyn Health.
“It’s because of the high prevalence of diabetes in the community. If you look nationally, the prevalence of diabetes is maybe 10% of the population,” said Kodroff. “In central Brooklyn, it is easily as high as 15%, so there is a very high prevalence of the disease. Another rationale is COVID-19. COVID-19 shined a spotlight on just how prevalent this disease was. As we emerged from the pandemic, it was time to expand opportunities for care for diabetes. The third rationale is the social determinants of health. We know for a fact that there’s a lot of food insecurity, housing instability, people living in poverty, and all of this contributes to higher rates of diabetes.”
The Diabetes Center of Excellence is designed to bring team-based care to the patient so that the patient can be most efficiently treated, Kodroff said.
“This is a very cohesive team,” he told Brooklyn Paper. “We’re very much focused on outcomes. We pay attention to all the metrics that would make up excellent care for people with diabetes. We are here five days a week, but we offer telemedicine consultation seven days a week and including the evenings. So access to the team is really critical to the success of the diabetes center.”
An estimated 1.7 million New Yorkers have diabetes, according to state health department data, with the disease being the seventh leading cause of death in the country.
To further connect with patients, the new center will offer a program called Health People, a team consisting of people from the community providing peer-to-peer education in managing chronic conditions. There are some indications that this approach is better for some patients as opposed to receiving management training from a professional.
“One of the observations that have been made throughout the country over the last couple of years is that self-management training given by a peer or a lay person is just as good and possibly even better than by a licensed professional,” said Kodroff.
One Brooklyn Health new Diabetes Center of Excellence is open at Pierre Toussaint Family Health Care Center at 1110 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.