BCHC`s Diabetes Education Department provides health education to our patients on nutrition, diabetes, weight management, high cholesterol, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. The Dept. currently is staffed by an RN, Certified Diabetes Educator, and a nutrition assistant. One AmeriCorps Member also works in the department. These staff work closely with all BCHC medical providers regarding health education, especially diabetes self management.
Patients are usually referred by their medical provider, but they may make an appointment without a referral as well as long as they are a BCHC patient currently seeing a BCHC medical provider. Education on diabetes self management is our most comprehensive service which includes a series of four classes offered twice a week as well as individual consults. The classes cover the causes and risks of diabetes, nutritional guidelines, information on the various medications available, and complications that develop with uncontrolled diabetes. After patients complete the four classes we encourage individual follow up appointments until the diabetes is controlled.
The department also provides individual consults to learn how to take insulin if it is prescribed by the medical provider. We also have a glucometer program which provides home blood glucose meters and supplies to BCHC diabetic patients at reduced prices. We encourage our diabetic patients to monitor blood sugars daily while they are learning to manage their diabetes. Monitoring at different times of the day helps the individual patient learn how and what (foods, meal times, exercise, medications, stress) affect blood sugar levels. The health educators work with patients in reviewing and interpreting their home blood sugars.
All BCHC patients (adult, pediatric and women`s health, including satellite clinics) have access to our services which are provided at the main clinic, New Horizon Medical Center. There is no charge for consults in the Health Education Dept.
Hours of operation are 8 am to 5 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 1 pm to 5 pm Wednesday.
BCHC provides a podiatry clinic at the New Horizon Medical Center (main site) which is available to all active BCHC patients. Dr. Luis Venegas, a Brownsville podiatrist, comes to New Horizon Medical Center weekly on Friday mornings. He provides diabetic foot care, but also general podiatry services to adults and children. Appointments can be made through the receptionists at the main clinic or any of the satellite clinics. Patients with Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance need a referral from their primary health care provider. Self pay patients may make an appointment without a referral.
Podiatry services are charged in the same manner as a consult with other BCHC medical providers.