Dayton VA launching new virtual program for diabetes education

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After a successful pilot program, the Dayton VA is heading up a new virtual medical center that will connect diabetic veterans and active service members to resources with the click of a mouse.

The Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense have partnered for this new program, and awarded the Dayton VA over $2.3 million to establish the program that will reach veterans and service members across the nation.

One in four veterans is diabetic, but only about one-third of those get diabetes information, according to Dr. Brian Burke, the Dayton VA Diabetes Services Chief.

“The day-to-day care of patients with diabetes happens primarily at home, so for that reason, knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to do it is so critical,” said Burke.

Burke is one of the original authors of ‘Diabetes Self-management and Education”, the pilot program that veterans like Roy Banner could access virtually.

Banner has been living with Type One diabetes since 1988.

He said now, without attending a class, this information is right in front of him 24/7/365.

“You were able to take, such as myself, like with neuropathy with my feet, problems with my eyes, diet, exercise, there’s all kinds of things, just a vast amount of information,” said Banner. “You can go to one place, you can read books, just a vast amount of information and also readily accessible.”

Burke said new software is being developed with the $2.3 million dollar investment so this can become a nationwide program, the first of its kind.

“Diabetes here in the Midwest is a much larger problem than it is in other parts of the country,” said Burke. “This is going to have a big, big opportunity to change people’s lives.”

The program is planned to launch either late this year or early 2020.

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