How a Community Hospital Tackles Diabetes

Christopher Cheney, May 30, 2014

A community hospital on the edge of Appalachia is becoming a leader in diabetes management and prevention. It's found a way to shorten patients' length of stay, boost prevention efforts, and help train endocrinology specialists.


Jay H. Shubrook, DO, FACOFP, FAAFP

The fight against diabetes is being fought hard in places as far flung as school lunch rooms and large academic medical centers. But there's one place that's in the vanguard: a community hospital in Athens, OH.

OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital, a 132-bed acute care facility is on the front lines of the battle against diabetes, a killer that claims thousands of American lives every year.

It's facing a diabetes epidemic, says Jay H. Shubrook, DO, FACOFP, FAAFP. Shubrook is director of the clinical division of The Diabetes Institute at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and he serves in leadership positions at O'Bleness Hospital including director of diabetes services.

The southeastern Ohio community around the hospital is economically disadvantaged and in poor health. The incidence of diabetes in the area is 40 percent, which is more than four times the national average, according to the American Diabetes Association.

"They get diagnosed early and have complications early," says Shubrook.

The Athens rate even exceeds the projection for the US population in 2050. It's expected that about one third of the adult US population will have the illness by then.

Christopher Cheney

Christopher Cheney is the senior finance editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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