Diabetes is a challenging disease to live with, and we understand the struggles that people with diabetes face every day. To help ease this burden, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital has developed a comprehensive diabetes education program that is recognized by the American Diabetes Association for quality self-management education.

The goals of our programs are to:

  • Provide individuals and their families with a better understanding of diabetes
  • Provide the skills needed for the management of diabetes
  • Improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes

We encourage people with the following to attend our educational programs:

  • A recent diagnosis of diabetes
  • A history of diabetes with any of the following: No previous education, less than optimal blood sugar control; complications, changes in treatment regimen or a desire to prevent complications and optimize outcomes
  • Gestational diabetes (individual session recommended)
  • Prediabetes (fasting blood sugar of 100-125 mg/dl)

Group Education

Diabetes education is offered regularly in small group sessions. The program is designed to provide the individual and their family with the beginning skills needed to live successfully with diabetes. The program is designed to supplement regular visits with your primary care provider, and we provide follow-up reports to your primary care provider.

These small group classes offer a relaxed and informal atmosphere with discussion and questions. A family member or friend is encouraged to attend as well.

Topics in the class include:

  • Overview of diabetes
  • Lifestyle modification, including diet and exercise
  • Medicines, including insulin
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Sick day guidelines
  • Potential complications
  • Preventing complications
  • Behavior change and goal setting
  • Community resources

The program is presented by registered nurses and registered dietitians, all certified diabetes educators on staff with Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. Morning, evening and Saturday options are available.

There is a fee for the class that will be billed to all insurance carriers. Preauthorization may be required. Please check with your individual insurance carrier. A physician referral is required for insurance coverage.

See our full schedule of classes online, or call 434-654-7009 or toll-free, 1-888-652-6663 for more information.

Individual Education

For people who prefer learning in a more private, personalized setting, individual appointments are available with certified diabetes educator registered nurses and registered dietitians.

Some individuals may benefit from attending both group and individual sessions.

To schedule an individual appointment, call 434-654-7009.

Additional Education and Support

At Martha Jefferson, we know that managing diabetes is a challenge that continues well beyond your initial diagnosis. That's why we offer additional classes and support to help you stay healthy for years to come.

Diabetes Supermarket Smarts

Led by a registered dietician and held at a local grocery store, diabetes supermarket smarts is a free class available to help you make healthy food choices when shopping. You will learn how to shop for healthy foods that will keep blood sugar levels in good control. The emphasis is on selecting foods moderate in carbohydrates.

Diabetes Support Group

This monthly program is designed to provide people with diabetes with the ongoing support needed to help them successfully self-manage their diabetes. Designed for people who have previously attended diabetes self-management education training, this program will provide motivation, encouragement and ongoing education by certified diabetes educators from Martha Jefferson's outpatient diabetes education program.