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Web Site Hopes to Activate Diabetes Patients in New York

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 15, 2009

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation today launched a new Web site for its 58,000 diabetic patients with the hope of making them more active and informed participants in their own care.

The HHC online Diabetes Wellness Center features advice from clinicians, patient success stories, healthy eating and exercise tips, access to free blood monitors, and a comprehensive list of support groups and diabetes wellness classes that are available in the health system's 11 acute-care public hospitals.

"We know millions of people seek health information on the Web and we wanted to tap this resource as an additional tool to help patients do all they can to manage diabetes at home," HHC President Alan D. Aviles said in a media release.

"We want to help patients take control of their diabetes care and become true partners with their physician and other healthcare team members. To accomplish this, patients need a lot more support and encouragement beyond what they can receive during periodic visits to their doctor because diabetes must be managed around the clock," Aviles said.

HHC, which is largest municipal healthcare organization in the nation, said the Web site is needed to help address the epidemic of obesity-fueled diabetes in New York City. The New York City Department of Health reports that the city's diabetic population has more than doubled in 10 years. About 530,000 adult New Yorkers know they have diabetes and another 265,000 New Yorkers have diabetes, but don't know it.

The HHC online Diabetes Wellness Center will be promoted at HHC hospitals and clinics, and through direct mail to more than 58,000 diabetic patients that are monitored through HHC's Diabetes Patient Registry, an electronic disease-tracking program.

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