Diabetes Education

What is Diabetes Education?

Diabetes Education can provide you and your family with increased knowledge about diabetes, help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and teach self-management skills.

Will I need a referral?

Yes, a physician's referral is necessary to participate in the Diabetes Outpatient Education Program; however, anyone can contact Stephen Welty, RN, CDE, at 618-842-4617, ext. 4812, to get the referral process started.

How is education offered?

  • Individual educational sessions
  • Group classes
  • Diabetic support groups
  • Diabetic health fairs
  • Diabetes Education is offered at Horizon Healthcare on Thursdays

Who will teach me?

  • Stephen Welty, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator, Primary Educator
  • Whitney Buckles, RD, LDN

What will I learn about?

  • Creating a personalized approach focusing on your individual needs for healthier living
  • The different types of diabetes
  • Meal planning/nutrition
  • The importance of physical activity and exercise
  • Self-monitoring of blood glucose
  • Medications (oral and insulin) associated with the treatment of diabetes
  • Acute and long term complications of the disease
  • Sick day management
  • Community resources, and much, much more

What are some symptoms of Diabetes?

  • Frequent or increased urination especially at night
  • Frequent or increased thirst or dry mouth
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in behavior, such as being irritable
  • Increased fatigue or tiredness, being sleepy through the day
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin sores that heal slowly

Who can have Type 2 Diabetes?

Anyone, regardless of age, can have type 2 (or adult) diabetes.  Risk factors include being overweight, family history of diabetes, other chronic health problems, lack of physical activity, and a history of gestational diabetes.  Diagnosing points for type 2 diabetes is an A1C of 6.5 or higher, a fasting blood sugar of 126 or higher, or a random blood sugar of over 200.  Type 2 diabetes is controlled with healthy meals and exercise, oral meds, and/or injectable medications.

What about Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes?

This is an autoimmune disease that happens for an unknown, unavoidable reason and completely stops the bodies ability to produce insulin.  Often diagnosed at a young age, but can be diagnosed into adulthood.  The onset is often quick, rapid weight loss, great increase in thirst and urination will happen sometimes in just a few days or weeks.  While healthy meals are important for all of us, insulin injections are always required multiple times daily with Type 1 diabetes for life.


Horizon Healthcare
618-842-4617 ext. 4812
Office hours: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday and Friday


To download the Diabetes Self-Management Program Session Materials, click here

Living Well with Diabetes Guide, click here


Diabetes Support Group Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday each month at 4 p.m. in the Fairfield Memorial Hospital Medical Arts Complex Community Education Room.