BayCare has a staff of compassionate physicians with a comprehensive knowledge of diabetes. Plus, we offer a variety of diabetes education programs throughout the Tampa Bay area to help ensure you have the best information and care possible in managing this chronic disease. Diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the U.S., about 8.3% of the population according to the Centers for Disease Control.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is above normal. It can occur at any time in your life. If you have family members with diabetes, you may be at risk. If you are overweight or do not exercise regularly, you also run a greater risk of developing diabetes. People with heart disease or who are on certain medications can also have an elevated risk for this disease.

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or your body cannot use the insulin you are producing (type 2 diabetes). Because of these two conditions, glucose in your blood reaches above-normal levels. Once diabetes is diagnosed, it is managed rather than cured.

Our Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) teach people with diabetes how to live their lives with hope, not fear. Services available on the Mease Countryside Hospital campus include:

  • Comprehensive Self-Management Diabetes Classes - up to 10 hours of diabetes education to help patients gain the skills needed to successfully manage their disease and its related health conditions
  • One-on-One Education - individual appointments to address specialized topics such as pump therapy and meter training
  • Prediabetes Workshop - lifestyle strategies to prevent or delay progression of type 2 diabetes; physician referral required
  • Gestational Diabetes Program - medical guidance, nutritional counseling and meal planning for expectant mothers who develop diabetes while pregnant
  • Diabetes Community Series - free seminars open to anyone interested in learning about proper nutrition, diabetes self-management and possible diabetic complications
  • Diabetes Follow-up Class/Support Group - open to individuals who have attended a Morton Plant Mease diabetes self-management class or who are seeking diabetes management support

For more information on our diabetes education and treatment programs, or to schedule an appointment with a CDE, call (727) 734-6888.