Why Utilize Clinic-Community Linkages?
As a practicing family physician, WellConnect offers a single point of contact to provide patients with low cost, community-based and evidence-based education that has the potential to improve their health. As a doc, I want to be able to do this as part of my office visit, I want to own their education, but I just do not have the time to provide a similar experience. The programs utilize trained small group facilitators and patients participate in a program with the same group of people – building support, community, and sharing successes and challenges - which is a tremendous benefit. WellConnect offers a parallel system of care that will hopefully make my job a little easier as patients change behaviors in favor of healthier lifestyle choices.
Preventing Diabetes: An Effort that Requires
I recently had the good fortune of attending a CME conference sponsored by the North Dakota Academy of Family Physicians. It was a great meeting with a number of presentations that were very practical and useful. One presentation was particularly interesting and a bit unexpected: National Diabetes Prevention Program in North Dakota – presented by North Dakota Public Health. Particular focus was given to Cass County, ND (Fargo area). They too have struggled with healthcare referrals for their Diabetes Prevention Programs and have developed a variety of tools to assist with referrals. With their success they are fortunate to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program beginning monthly.
Here in SE MN, Charlene Gaw, a Mayo medical student, is working on a project with Employee and Community Health at Mayo Clinic to identify patients eligible for the DPP through the EMR and send them portal messages encouraging them to contact WellConnect. This project is showing early promise.