The Perinatal Diabetes Center, a diabetes self-management education program at HCA Houston Healthcare affiliated The Woman's Hospital of Texas, has been awarded continued Education Recognition from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The Center's program was first recognized in August of 1999 and is celebrating 20 years of continuous recognition.

According to the ADA, nearly 10 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. are affected by gestational diabetes every year. Unmanaged, it can cause complications for both mom and baby. Working in unison with her healthcare team, participating in a diabetes self-management education program gives the mother-to-be the necessary tools to manage diabetes during pregnancy for healthier outcomes.

The Association's Education Recognition Certificate assures that educational services meet the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES). The DSMES Standards were developed and tested under the auspices of the National Diabetes Advisory Board. "Self-management education is an essential component of diabetes treatment, especially during pregnancy," explains Joanie Hare, MD, maternal/fetal medicine physician and program medical director of The Perinatal Diabetes Center. "We work with our patients to ensure a healthy outcome for both mom and baby."

DSMES programs apply for Recognition voluntarily. Programs that achieve Recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide participants with comprehensive information about diabetes management. "The recognition process gives professionals national standards by which to measure the quality of services they provide," comments Liz Miller, Program Coordinator. "And, of course, it assures the consumer that he or she will likely receive high-quality service." Education Recognition status is verified by an official certificate from ADA and awarded for four years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2017 National Diabetes Statistic Report, there are 30.3 million people or 9.4% of the population in the United States who have diabetes. While an estimated 23.1 million have been diagnosed, unfortunately, 7.2 million people are not aware that they have this disease. Each day more than 3,900 people are diagnosed with diabetes. Many will first learn that they have diabetes when they are treated for one of its life-threatening complications - heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve disease, and amputation. About 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 18 years or older in 2015. Diabetes continues to be the seventh leading cause of death in the US in 2015 as it contributed to 252,806 deaths.

The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading non-profit health organization supporting diabetes research, advocacy and information for health professionals, people with diabetes and the public. Founded in 1940, the Association continues to support people affected by diabetes nationwide.