Page 10 - Scene Magazine 42-10 October 2017
P. 10

Did You Know?
BY KATHY BANFIELD SHAW
Did You Know... that over 8,800 people in Calhoun County are currently dealing with the di- agnosis of Diabetes? I learned this from Dr. Michael Valitut- to of Borgess Medi-
cal Center. He works out of the Diabetes Center in Kalamazoo and once a week he comes to Borgess Health Park in Bat- tle Creek to hold his shared appointments with patients in our community. The reason they are called shared appointments is be- cause between 12 and 15 people at a time share their issues in order to learn about what next they can do to better understand Diabetes. “So many people have the prob- lem with only so much time available,” Dr. Valitutto explains, “So when we are able to put 10, 12, 15 people in the room together with their support team we can see them in a quicker timeframe, we can see more people more efficiently.”
Seeing patients in groups is not a new
Dr. Michael Valitutto
idea, but an idea that came from the work doctors and staff members were doing at Veterans’ Hospitals for patients who re- turned from the Vietnam War and were diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Over 96% of patients said they were satisfied with the approach de- veloped by Ed Nofzinger and called DIG- MA (drop-in group medical appointment). “We’ve not re-created the wheel, but made it more savvy for us. It takes a lot of effort to make it work for us,” Dr. Valitutto says. “As an example we can’t have patients just drop in, we have to market to them.”
Dr. Valitutto describes himself as a Di- abetes Advocate and says, “There needs to be a scorching sense of urgency (about Di- abetes). We need to take this from invisible to visible by talking about it in the schools, your periodical, on television. We have this very important issue that is being ig- nored by our government, our politicians, our providers, and of course, our patients.” He continues, “Thirty million Americans have Diabetes and 86 million Americans are at an increased risk of developing Dia- betes.” Dr. Valitutto believes... “this is the next terror to the United States. Meanwhile there is no sense of urgency.”
Many people ask why this is such a silent story. Dr. Valitutto goes back to the disease itself, “You don’t have warning or alarm signs. A person could have been di- agnosed 10 to 15 years ago but until the first heart attack they don’t realize ...oh, by the way... you have Diabetes.”
What do advocates such as Dr. Valitutto advocate? “We need to put more money up front to prevent this disease down the road. We need to change our relationship with food at home. We need to change our rela- tionship with exercise at home. It all begins at home,” he says. “I call it God made food. If you can grow it, hunt it, fish it, or kill it (versus man-made food) it should be on our plate.”
Dr. Valitutto sees his goal as, “Getting a whole lot more patients to accept the di- agnosis. More willingness to take medica- tion in a more adherent fashion, better un- derstanding and awareness leads to better self-motivation which leads to better ad- herence and leads to better accountability.”
If it sounds as if Dr. Valitutto is passion- ate, “The Good Lord put me in a beautiful position and gave me a good mind and a lot of motivation. I get to make a difference in peoples’ lives.” ...then you are probably hearing him correctly. “A lot of patients get busy dying. We help them get busy living. We need to change our approach. It takes a lot more education, a lot more support, a lot more changing of the guard, so to speak. As the new kids come up we’ve got to get this into their head and have a sense of urgency.”
In his “off time” Dr. Valitutto enjoys traveling with his wife Jodie and their three daughters who are 16, 11, and 8. “We like them to see different cultures. It makes us all appreciate what we have and not take anything for granted.”
You can find Dr. Valtutto at Borgess Diabetes and Endocrine Center, (269) 226- 8321.
THANK YOU
All of us at Schweitzer would like to give our appreciation to the men and women
who have unselfishly placed themselves at the front
of our country and our community. To all of the veterans who have served and continue to serve in the armed forces, to local fire departments, law enforce- ment agencies and
medical emergency teams... thank you.
9807 BELLEVUE RD, BATTLE CREEK, MI 49014 I 269-963-1579 I www.schweitzerinc.com
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