The Mohawk Valley Health System’s (MVHS) Central New York Diabetes Education Program (CNY Diabetes) has received a three-year grant of $71,000 from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for state-of-the-art retinal screening equipment and additional resources for local diabetes prevention services.

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and the number of people estimated to have prediabetes is increasing. CNY Diabetes provides comprehensive diabetes education and prevention programming for children, adolescents and adults throughout the region, to reduce the personal and financial burdens associated with diabetes-related complications. The new funding will allow CNY Diabetes to provide cooking class demonstrations and purchase interactive white boards, Bluetooth weight scales and a Welch Allyn RetinaVue portable eye fundus camera.

“The support of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for diabetes management has provided opportunities in our community to develop and sustain programs that allow diabetes prevention and treatment,” said Caroline

Jacobus, MS, RN, CDE, CFCN, director of CNY Diabetes. “Without a doubt, this has and will continue to improve the quality of life and outcomes for our community.”

Funding for CNY Diabetes comes from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Member and Community Health Improvement (MACHI) program. This program provides grants to initiatives that involve numerous community partners, span multiple years and include specific objectives and measurable outcomes in improving health. Preference is given to efforts that focus on the areas of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, medication compliance and/or patient safety.

“Tens of thousands of Upstate New York adults who suffer from diabetes endanger their health because they don’t take basic steps to manage this chronic illness,” said Excellus BCBS regional president Eve Van de Wal. “Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is very happy to support the CNY Diabetes Education Program and the much-needed innovation and education resources it provides to our community.”

About the MVHS CNY Diabetes Program

CNY Diabetes assist patients in the tracking, reporting and management of several diabetes outcome indicators by providing A1C testing, diabetic eye screening, nephropathy screening and certified foot care services. CNY Diabetes currently has the only WOCNB-certified foot care nurse in the county.

Assistance is also provided in group or individualized self-management sessions that can help patients prevent or delay complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, amputation and nerve damage. Topics covered include defining pre-diabetes, type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes; nutrition and medication management; exercise and blood sugar monitoring; insulin pump training and continuous glucose monitoring.

 For more information, please contact CNY Diabetes at 315-624-5620.

About Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

An independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company’s mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits.


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