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St. Helena Hospital’s new Diabetes Self-Management Programs Wraps up Second Successful Class


Media Contact: Joshua Cowan, Northern California Network

Phone: (707)-967-7515 Email:


St. Helena Hospital’s new Diabetes Self-Management Programs Wraps up Second Successful Class

St. Helena, CA. - St. Helena Hospital’s new Diabetes Self-Management Program just wrapped up their second four-week class on taking control of your diabetes. This multidisciplinary program involves experts from a variety of backgrounds. Laura Grinnell, RD; Becky Bernstein, RN BSN; and a variety of guest speakers including Saad Sultan, PharmD; and Ilona Flavy, PT, teach participants how to better manage diabetes while improving their quality of life.

Laura Grinnell, Registered Dietitian at St. Helena Hospital, commented on the recent class. "Nutrition plays a key role in managing diabetes. The class on nutrition for diabetes management covers carbohydrate counting, label reading, meal planning and importance of weight control. My goal is to provide education and empower those with diabetes to enhance their health, wellness and quality of life."

DeWitt Garlock, a local community member and participant in the Diabetes Self-Management Program, shared his personal testimony with the class. "Although it may seem counterintuitive to say this, getting Type 2 Diabetes has in many respects been one of the most positive things that could have happened to me. I say this because when this realization set in, I finally convinced myself to get off the ‘on again-off again’ diet and exercise pattern I had practiced for years, and start practicing a permanent lifestyle change with proper diet and exercise. There are too many trails left to hike, too many bike rides to take, and too many lakes to fly-fish to go back now to the way my life used to be. Anybody with diabetes can make these same choices: get educated about this disease and how to manage it, eat smart and well, get moving, and as an outcome, start living a better life."

Each program consists of four 2-hour group classes, facilitated by a Registered Dietitian and Registered Nurse. During the program, participants set goals to improve their self-management. They are taught about diabetic meal planning, nutrition and exercise, preventing medical complications, and a variety of other topics.

Guest speaker and Physical Therapist, Ilona Falvy, spoke to the class about the benefits of physical activity in managing blood sugar. "We are designed to move. Physical activity sustains us by promoting the health and wellness of all of our systems – muscular, circulatory, digestive, immune, respiratory, etc. If you are diabetic, exercise is a straight forward and easily accessible tool for improved health. It lowers

blood sugars, improves circulation, lowers weight and stress, and improves your overall health. Bottom line – move!"

"This class empowers participants to make educated decisions about their own healthcare pertaining to diabetes," states Becky Bernstein, RN BSN. "They get to choose the roles that nutrition, physical activity and medication play in managing their diabetes. Learning these tools for success helps alleviate fears, positively motivates, and helps participants take control of their diabetes, rather than feeling victimized or powerless."

"St. Helena Hospital is committed to helping people Live Younger Longer," comments Laura Grinnell. "We are pleased to be able to offer the Diabetes Self-Management Program to the community thanks to a grant from Auction Napa Valley."

For more information about the Diabetes Self-Management Program please call (707)-963-6432. Classes are held monthly. Call for days and times, and to pre-register. 

St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,900 includes more than 21,200 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,200 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 170 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, six hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit for more information.