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Web-based program helps Mass. middle school students manage diabetes

May 29, 2012 6:07pm
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(NECN: Kristen Doucet) - More and more students are going to school with diabetes.

Now, parents can send their children to school with a little added peace of mind.

School nurses and doctors are teaming up to keep kids' diabetes in check.

For Samoset Middle School Nurse Susan Avallone, helping her diabetic students is a big part of her day.

She helps them check their blood sugar on a regular basis with the help of a glucometer.

“A student or a child with diabetes, this is their lifelong battle that they are going to have to deal with and they burn out fast. What kid wants diabetes? They didn't ask for it.”

Avallone says a recent grant through a pilot program from the Department of Public Health is helping students manage their diabetes.

The grant provided funding to purchase glucometer cables that can connect to school computers so that students can upload their blood sugar levels to a site called "MyCareTeam."

The web-based program allows doctors to monitor the students' blood sugar data.

“The collaboration with the school nurse and the hospital, the medical team, has been crucial in improving the care to students.”

Avallone says by adding readings during school hours, doctors can better follow a student's daily trends.

UMass Memorial's Leslie Soyka says observing blood sugar levels on a frequent basis is a big help.

“The ability for MyCareTeam to be able to upload a meter from home, school, and ideally from both, gives us all the info we need to adjust insulin and help our patients.”

UMass Memorial’s diabetes educator Kim Johnson coordinates the program within the schools.

She hopes the program will help with students' long-term diabetes control.

“We are connecting all of players in the diabetes team, which is the medical provides the parents, the children and the school, which is key for kids who have diabetes because they spend so much time there.”

“Every child deserves the right to come to school in a safe caring environment,” says Principal Gina Wironen. “And programs such as this provide that for every student.”
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