Meets the 2nd Thursday of each month
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Olympia Medical Center
Pavilion Conference Room (PCR)
5900 Olympic Bl. 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036
At the crossroads of Fairfax and Olympic Blvd.
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
LOCATION MAP PARKING INFORMATION
Diabetes Support Group, leaders pictured: (L-R) Courtney Walberg, R.D., Olympia Medical Center; Andrew Berman, M.D., Olympia Medical Center, Board Member, Facial Plastics, Ear, Nose & Throat; Debbi Hill, Wound Care Specialist, Olympia Medical Center; Diane McWhorter, Volunteer, Nurse Practioner, Certified Diabetes Educator
An estimated 21 million Americans have diabetes. Often, managing this disease is an isolatingexperience, as patients balance glucose readings, diet and exercise with everyday life. At Olympia Medical Center, monthly Diabetes Support Group meetings offer a safe, open atmosphere to learn about the disease and share experiences. “Education is key when you have diabetes,” says Andrew Berman, M.D., diabetes support group cofacilitator and a diabetic himself. “One has to learn how to live well with diabetes.”
An otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat) and facial plastics specialist, Dr. Andrew Berman was diagnosed with diabetes more than eight years ago.With his background in public policy and healthcare, it was natural for him to begin advocating for himself and others with the disease. Consequently, the format of support group meetings offers equal parts education and support.
Olympia Medical Center Registered Dietitian Courtney Walberg facilitates the first 30 to 45 minutes of each meeting. During this time, participants learn and discuss what to eat and what not to eat, how to budget carbohydrates, add healthy snacks to their diet and much more.
For the remainder of that hour, health experts offer advice on managing the disease. Ongoing topics include diet and wound care, offered by Olympia Medical Center staff. Dr. Berman brings in other Olympia medical practitioners in specialties such as cardiology, kidney problems and eye care, all of special concern to diabetes patients.
For the last hour, the support group is open to discussion and questions. Patients, caregivers and family members share experiences, express concerns and learn about managing this disease. Typically 30 to 40 people attend each meeting, with the age range up into the 70’s.“We have very lively discussions,” Berman said. “Everyone asks questions and some people are more quiet than others.” For first-time attendees, Berman and fellow participants assure that newcomers are “accepted, brought in and feel included in the group.”
Diabetes information from the National Institutes of Health
Olympia Medical Center is a physician owned 204-bed acute care medical/surgical facility, providing award-winning inpatient and outpatient diagnostic, medical and surgical services to our communities.