The Diabetes Education Program at Horizon Health in Paris, Illinois, has received national recognition for its high standards of care.

Recent recognition from the American Diabetes Association acknowledges Horizon Health for its effectiveness in educating patients about diabetes self-management, which is an essential component of diabetes treatment. Horizon Health has maintained ADA recognition since 1994. In 2020, Horizon Health is one of only 14 ICAHN hospitals in Illinois to have an ADA-recognized program. The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network consists of 57 critical access and small, rural hospitals across the state.

Diabetes-related services at Horizon Health consist of diabetes management, endocrinology, nutrition education/counseling and wound care. A team of healthcare professionals develop individual treatment plans following ADA standards of care.

“Patients who participate in our program benefit from a multidisciplinary approach,” said Leighsa Cornwell, certified diabetes educator at Horizon Health. “A successful program involves prescribing the right medications, providing proper dietary and lifestyle education and having patients follow their individualized program.”

“Through appropriate self-management, unnecessary hospital admissions and some complications of diabetes can be prevented,” explained Dr. Edward Rico, endocrinologist and medical director for the program. “A successful program like ours addresses and manages all phases of the disease, from diabetes education to wound care.”

Horizon Health’s Diabetes Education Program consists of Cornwell and Kara Wilcoxon, registered dietician nutritionist.

Cornwell teaches pre-diabetic and diabetic patients about their diagnosis, and what it means to them. She offers additional information about treatment options, as well as how to improve blood sugars, diet, exercise and goal setting. She also teaches patients how to monitor their blood sugars and prevent complications from out-of-range blood sugar levels.

Wilcoxon provides individualized nutrition counseling for pre-diabetic and diabetic patients. She recommends food and drink choices that are important to managing diabetes.

In addition to Cornwell, Wilcoxon, and Rico, diabetes-related services at Horizon Health are provided by Debbie Griffin, family nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator; Karen Smith, who works in collaboration with Rico to provide endocrinology services; Philip Holloway, podiatrist and board certified wound specialist; and Brittany Farris, registered nurse, Horizon Health Wound Clinic.

For more details on the Diabetes Education Program, visit MyHorizonHealth.org/diabetes or call 217-466-4228.

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