Bob Takes Control–With Help From His Team
Last winter, Bob White’s blood sugar spiked so high that he spent two days in intensive care at the hospital. “When they put me in the rescue that night, they thought I was having a heart attack,” says Bob.
Afraid to eat
Bob’s primary care physician, Dr. David Cunningham, asked Ally Manning to get in touch with Bob after he got home from the hospital and offer to help him learn about diabetes. Ally, a Coastal Medical nurse care manager, says, “Bob was very nervous as most patients with diabetes are. He was afraid to eat, afraid to inject the wrong dose of his insulin. But he was motivated.”
In addition to having diabetes, Bob had high blood pressure and was obese. “I was 235 pounds and only 5'3". I could barely bend over and tie my shoes,” he says. Ally worked with him to create a plan for improving his health.
"I always start by asking the person what their biggest concern is," Ally says. "Then we create a plan that they can live with, and I review it with their doctor.”
Bob’s wife came to his meetings with Ally to learn about diabetes and offer support. Ally says, “If the patient isn’t the person who does the grocery shopping and meal preparation, I ask their family member to be part of the sessions. Otherwise, nothing will change.”
Bob had five sessions with Ally. He reviewed his medications with the pharmacist, Chris Federico, who is on site at his Coastal practice. He attended a series of diabetes classes right in the Coastal office. The result? He changed—and the impact on his health was astounding.
A life change
Bob admits that all the changes were tough at first. “But I worked with everyone at Coastal and studied as much as I could on my own. They put me on the right track.”
“Since the winter, I’ve lost about 45 pounds,” says Bob. “I was a big meat and potatoes eater, but now I eat a lot of salad. I read food labels. And I walk three miles a day. I feel great now.” Instead of injecting insulin, Bob only takes a half pill each day. He wants to lose another 40 pounds, and he’s staying with his new healthy lifestyle.
Bob is thankful to the team at Coastal, and they are thrilled about his progress. “Bob White is a great example of the strengths that are built into the model of team-based care," says Dr, Cunningham. "The ability to offer our patients intensive, one-on-one education and training with our care team–which includes our nurse care manager and our pharmacist–leads to dramatic improvements in patients' overall health and well-being.”
How to Find Your Healthcare Team
Coastal Medical is a patient-centered medical home, recognized for creating a team of healthcare professionals to improve the quality, convenience, and cost of your healthcare. BCBSRI partners with patient-centered medical homes to bring our members:
- No-cost visits with a nurse care manager.
If you need help managing an ongoing health issue like diabetes or achieving a wellness goal such as losing weight, you can work with a nurse care manager.
- No-cost visits with a pharmacist.
Some patient-centered medical homes offer a pharmacist who will help you review and understand your medications. The pharmacist can also offer suggestions for lowering your medication costs.
- Extended hours.
Some patient-centered medical homes have extended hours, including nights and weekends.
Patient-centered medical homes may offer classes and education on diabetes and other health issues.