The Oneida Indian Nation Health Services “Let’s Be Healthy” diabetes self-management education program recently received re-accreditation through the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). The program is only the second American-Indian run operation in New York State to achieve this status and is one of four in the Nashville-area Indian Health Services region to have this honor. The Oneida Nation program has been accredited since 2011.

This recognition certifies that the Oneida Nation’s diabetes program has met all ten national standards set forward by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and salutes the department’s comprehensive diabetes education program that integrates educational, clinical and public health services.

By achieving the AADE-accredited status, the diabetes education program highlights the Oneida Nation Health Services’ commitment to provide high-quality care and accurate information for patients with diabetes. Patients who complete diabetes self-management education programs (DSME) tend to have fewer complications which can help lower health care costs associated with diabetes. DSME program participants also show measureable improvements both clinically and behaviorally in managing their disease.

“Having and maintaining an AADE accredited diabetes program is really a team effort,” said Mollie Tracy, diabetes program coordinator. “There are many aspects that influence the health of our patients with diabetes, it’s not just about diet, exercise and medications.”  Health Services patients, both pre-diabetic and diabetic, receive a wide-range of services to help manage this chronic disease that affects American Indians more than any other ethnic population in the United States. Services include behavioral health, dentistry, dietary and lifestyle changes, endocrinology, podiatry, vision, exercise physiology and more. “Everyone working together is how we ensure the best quality of care for our patients,” Mollie said.

Since 1989, Oneida Nation Health Services has been an integral part of the Oneida Indian Nation’s mission to help Members receive the best in physical and mental health services. In 2009, Oneida Nation Health Services was lauded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for “exemplary performance” in providing quality care to its patients and undertaking proper documentation to “benefit patients and improve overall quality of care to patients.” Relocated to a new state-of-the-art facility in 2016, Oneida Nation Health Services serves as the medical facility for more than 3,500 American Indians living in Central New York.