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Community Care Clinic receives grant to fund smoking cessation and diabetes programs

By Jeanie Groh

jeanie.groh@salisburypost.com

The Community Care Clinic of Rowan County will be able to better serve its diabetic patients and smokers, thanks to a grant from the CVS Health Foundation in partnership with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.

Community Care Clinic is one of only three clinics in North Carolina to receive the $30,000 grant, which will go toward the clinic’s diabetes management and smoking cessation programs.

“It’s all about prevention,” said Krista Woolly, executive director.

The first step to prevention is health literacy.

Twice a year, 100 of the clinic’s diabetic patients come in to test their health literacy – once for a pretest, and then again at the end of the year for a post-test.

Julianna Parrish, the clinic’s pharmacist, works with the patients between those two tests to help them learn how their decisions impact their health and how to best manage their diabetes.

Parrish teaches the patients how to understand their diabetes by teaching them about their test readings and by helping them set their own goals.

“You have to meet them where they’re at,” she said, explaining that learning is individualized for each patient.

The most important part of the program is encouraging behavior change activities, such as cutting out sugary drinks, watching portion sizes or walking more.

“Ideally you’d like to get everybody at goal,” Parrish said, but added that those little successes are still incredibly important.

“That one life style will be better than three medicines,” she said.

The rest of the money from the grant will be used to fund the clinic’s Freedom From Smoking program.

“It’s a two-prong approach,” Wooly said.

The first aspect of the program is the 10-member support group.

A Community Care Clinic volunteer was recently certified in the Freedom From Smoking program through the American Lung Association, and is leading a group. Members meet for eight weeks and set a collaborative quit date.

That group is supplied with the second aspect of the program – nicotine patches.

“We’re using the patches in conjunction with the class,” Wooley said. “We will give them patches as long as they stay on the program.”

There will be three smoking cessation programs this year and four next year.

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