For this Ward 8 grandmother, “family is everything.”
And in order to enjoy family, you’ve got to have health.
When Betty Jean got diagnosed with diabetes three years ago, she knew she had to make a change. “I needed to get healthy not only for myself, but for my family… to enjoy things like picking my grandbaby up from school.”
While Betty Jean has been in mostly good health, she was not unfamiliar with the disease: four of seven of her siblings, already have diabetes. Her eldest brother died after suffering from a diabetic coma.
Betty Jean knew she had to take charge of her health.
That’s when she found Community of Hope. In 2014, Betty Jean walked through the doors of our newly opened Conway Health and Resource Center hoping to find answers about living with diabetes.
“I wanted to stop taking insulin. I didn’t want to depend on it,” she said. “I needed a confirmation that if I started doing the right thing, it would be possible.”
At her first appointment, Betty Jean got the confirmation she was looking for. Her doctor answered all her questions and showed her ways to better manage her diabetes. She connected Betty Jean to our Diabetes Group Care, a gathering of patients with diabetes designed to encourage new healthy habits. Patients share struggles, ask questions and encourage each other.
“Nurse Fife told me I needed to lose weight, so I listened to her. In group, they showed me how to measure my food when I cook, so I do it,” Betty Jean proudly exclaims. “I do what Community of Hope tells me to do because they want what’s best for me. They care about me.”
The results were dramatic. Within the past two years, Betty Jean has shed more than 80 pounds and her blood sugar is currently steady at non-diabetic levels. Her proudest accomplishment: “I’m no longer on insulin!”
RaShawnda Person, our care coordination specialist, has worked with Betty Jean since she became a patient with us. “I’ve witnessed Betty Jean’s amazing transformation and am thrilled to be a part of her care team, providing support and resources along her health journey.”
For Betty Jean, our coordinated care with knowledgeable and compassionate staff made all the difference.
In addition to her primary care and diabetes group, Betty Jean also receives dental, podiatry and ophthalmology services from us. “I will never go anywhere else. I get great care close to my home. I tell all my friends they have to come here.”
Betty Jean is excited to be a part of our new Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, where she will attend monthly healthy eating workshops in exchange for redeemable fresh fruit and veggies.
As for her progress? Betty Jean is beaming. She’s thrilled to be healthy and full of energy to do what she loves – spending time with her granddaughter.
“Because of Community of Hope, I can do all the things I love with my family.”