FORT WORTH, Texas—The Diabetes Clinic at the University of North Texas Health Science Center remains the only clinic in Fort Worth to be recognized by the “Provider Recognition Program,” sponsored by American Diabetes Association and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. This is the second time the clinic has been recognized for providing top quality care for area diabetics.
To be recognized by the program, physicians must demonstrate that they meet or exceed its high standards for patient care, including eye exams, blood pressure tests, and nutrition therapy, among others. When patients with diabetes receive quality care as outlined by these measures, they are less likely to suffer complications such as heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and amputations.
Craig Spellman, Ph.D., D.O., a diabetologist, is the clinic’s medical director. He is joined by Stephen Weis, D.O., a board-certified endocrinologist, and Michael Clearfield, D.O., an internal medicine specialist. They all practice with the health science center’s Physicians & Surgeons Medical Group, one of the largest group practices in North Texas.
“We’ve made a commitment to provide excellent diabetes care,” said Dr. Spellman. “We offer a full-spectrum program that recognizes all aspects of diabetes control. It’s more than monitoring a patient’s blood sugar levels. Diabetes requires perfect control of sugars, cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, and above all, patient education on why tests are done and what they mean.”
The comprehensive program includes clinical care, patient education and research activities. Enisa Arslanagic, M.D., serves as the research and clinical coordinator for the Diabetes Clinic. A team of certified diabetes educators complements the medical care in the clinic. Educators Joice Carter, R.D., C.D.E., Sue Wiggers, R.N., C.D.E., and Craig Bennett, R.Ph., focus on patient education activities. The clinic also participates in major clinical trials to evaluate new diabetes therapies.
“We’re committed to the concept that patients must actively participate in controlling their own diabetes and its complications,” Dr. Spellman said. “Diabetics must be proactive. The days are gone where a physician simply tells a patient what to do. Our patient education program has been so successful because we encourage our patients to take control of their diabetes through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and ongoing awareness of how their day-to-day activities affect their health.”
The “Provider Recognition Program” first recognized the health science center’s Diabetes Clinic in 1998 with an initial three-year certification. The clinic will now hold Recognition status for another three years until 2004.
The Diabetes Clinic evaluates patients who may have diabetes, monitors and educates newly diagnosed diabetes patients about managing the disease, and provides long-term care for diabetic patients of any age. Treatment is available for all diabetic conditions and complications.
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or respond properly to insulin, a hormone that allows blood sugar to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy. An estimated 16 million Americans have diabetes. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and it has no cure.
Physicians recognized by the Provider Recognition Program are listed on the ADA’s website at www.diabetes.org/recognition. For more information about the Diabetes Clinic, please call 817-735-2660.
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