A $56,000 grant is helping Grace Clinic better serve patients with diabetes.
The grant, from the Kennewick-based Greater Health Now, is paying for continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs, which make it easier to manage the chronic disease that affects how the body turns food into energy. Up to 90 patients will be able to access CGMs thanks to the grant.
“Poorly managed diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and lower-limb amputations in the United States,” said Kathryn Brault, a diabetes specialist and Grace Clinic’s medical director, in a statement. “But when a person with diabetes has a simple, pain-free way to get real-time feedback about their glucose levels based on what they just ate, it’s a life-changer.”
Grace Clinic, based in Kennewick, offers free medical, dental and mental health services to uninsured, low-income adults in Benton and Franklin counties. It’s the only clinic of its kind in the Tri-Cities.
More than 20% of patients at Grace Clinic have diabetes.
The CGMs will allow them to keep close tabs on their glucose levels without having to prick their fingers for a blood sample. The devices — small discs about the size of a quarter — stick to the arm and have a sensor that monitors glucose levels. Patients can scan the device with their phones to get real-time information. It’s a quick and painless process, Grace Clinic said.
Eduardo, a patient at the clinic, said his new CGM is making a difference for him.
“I used to poke my finger three times a day, but with the CGM, I can see the report whenever I want,” he said in the statement, noting that he’s been motivated to adjust his diet and exercise as a result.
“I’m eating less tortillas, rice and red meat, and more fish and vegetables,” said Eduardo, whose last name isn’t being released to protect his privacy. He’s more energized now.
Brault said she’s pleased with the results in his case.
Before the CGM, “his glucose levels were alarmingly erratic,” she said in the statement. “At his last appointment, his glucose levels and even his blood pressure had improved significantly.”
While CGMs are better than finger-stick monitoring, they’re more expensive.
“Most of our patients simply can’t afford CGMs,” Brault said in the statement. “But with this Greater Health Now grant, I think we’re going to see some life-changing differences in patients’ health.”
Amber Henderson, chief people and culture officer at Greater Health Now, said her organization’s Connect2Everyone grant “is an excellent opportunity for community organizations, like Grace Clinic, that are committed to addressing the health needs of low-income, uninsured individuals.”
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