Looking for diabetes education?

Kate Long's fellowship project explores West Virginia's epidemics of chronic disease and obesity and the efforts to reverse them.  The series is called "The Shape We're In."

Trying to find diabetes education services "is like trying to find pieces of a jigsaw puzzle," said Shannon Meade, director of Logan County's Family Resource Network. They're scattered around, and "you need them all to see the whole picture."

West Virginia leads the nation in diabetes, but the state offers no statewide list of diabetes education services. The Gazette-Mail pulled together this list. It's not complete, but it is more comprehensive than any available. It does not, for instance, include private medical offices or clinics. Feel free to send complete additions or corrections to gaze...@wvgazette.com with "diabetes list" in the subject line.


Most West Virginia hospitals offer diabetes education to patients. The following also offer self-management classes and/or support groups to the public. Some are free, and some are expensive. Only three offer classes for children or teens. Most offer classes a few times a year. Most services require a doctor's referral and are covered by insurance. As of June 15, all listed hospitals have one-on-one diabetes consults with a doctor's referral:

  • Braxton Memorial Hospital, Sutton. 304-364-1126. Counseling sessions with a dietitian who visits once a month.
  • Broaddus Hospital, Philippi. 304-637-3139. Classes through Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins.
  • Cabell Huntington Hospital/University Physicians, Huntington. 304-691-1662. Self-management classes through Marshall University. Free monthly diabetes support group. Referral to free cooking classes. Visit http://musom.marshall.edu/diabetes/index.asp.
  • Camden Clark Hospital, Parkersburg. 304-424-2400. Self-management classes, support groups at Diabetic Wellness Center, consults with dietitian and certified diabetes educator. Visithttp://ccmh.org/ChoosingUs/DiabetesWellnessCenter.aspx.
  • Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston. 304-388-5555. 10-hour (3 days) American Diabetes Association-recognized diabetes self-management training (can be billed to insurance or $740 cost), one-on-one or group, billable to insurance. Certified diabetes educator and dietitian. No support groups. Visit http://www.camc.org/body.cfm?id=730
  • City Hospital, Martinsburg. 304-596-6839. Children's support group, teen group, adult group, led by certified diabetes educator. Four-week Lifeskills diabetic education classes.
  • Davis Memorial Hospital, Elkins. 304-637-3139 or 304-642-0618. Certified diabetes educator, 12-hour free "Help Yourself" self-management program, four-session "Lifeskills" medical self-management classes with physician referral (with scholarship if needed), monthly support group, public information presentations.
  • Fairmont General Hospital, Fairmont. 304-367-7543. Free "Sweet Talk" diabetes education programs, currently unavailable while hospital hires a diabetes educator.
  • Grant Memorial Hospital, Petersburg. 304-257-1044 ext. 3. Referral to self-management group classes and consultations at American Diabetes Association-recognized program at Judy's Drug Store.
  • Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, Lewisburg. 304-647-6079. Monthly support group.
  • Hampshire Memorial Hospital, Romney. 304-822-4561. Consults with dietitian, with doctor's referral. Classes offered at affiliated hospital, Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Va.
  • Jackson General Hospital, Ripley. 304-373-1475. Classes taught by registered dietitian at least quarterly.
  • Jefferson Memorial Hospital, Ranson. 304-728-1693. Four-week, free self-management class, open to the community.
  • Logan Regional Medical Center, Logan. 304-831-1101 ext. 1637. Program in development. No self-management classes or support groups yet. One-time seminars, registered dietitian, occasional healthy shopping tours.
  • Minnie Hamilton Health Center, Grantsville. 304-354-9244 ext. 2002. Free diabetes support group meetings.
  • Monongalia General Hospital, Morgantown. 304-598-0763. Diabetes education classes and monthly diabetes support group at Diabetes Learning Center, certified diabetes educator, dietitian.
  • Montgomery General Hospital, Montgomery. 304-442-1243. Lunch seminars.
  • Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling. 304-234-8755. Certified diabetes educator, consults with dietitian, diabetes self-management classes
  • Plateau Medical Center, Oak Hill. 304-469-8600. Consults with dietitian, with referral.
  • Pleasant Valley Hospital, Point Pleasant. 304-675-4340 ext. 1323. Counseling with diabetes nurse, group classes in planning
  • Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, Buckeye. 304-799-7400 ext. 1032. American Diabetes Association-recognized classes, free monthly support group.
  • Potomac Valley Hospital, Keyser. 304-597-3500. Occasional group classes and regular support group.
  • Princeton Community Hospital, Princeton. 304-487-7242. Free diabetes meal planning class every other Thursday. Four times a year, free four-day intensive diabetes self-management classes, with follow-up by certified diabetes educator. Monthly diabetic support group.
  • Reynolds Memorial Hospital, Glen Dale. 304-845-3211. Self-management classes.
  • Roane General Hospital, Spencer. 304-927-6846. American Association of Diabetes Educators-accredited self-management classes. May create support group in the fall.
  • Sistersville General Hospital, Sistersville. 304-652-2611. Looking for a diabetic educator to offer program.
  • Saint Francis Hospital, Charleston. See Thomas Health Systems.
  • Summersville Regional Medical Center, Summersville. 304-872-8402. Occasional cooking classes.
  • Summers County Appalachian Regional Hospital, Hinton. 304-466-2918. Monthly two-hour group diabetes education class. Call for time and information.
  • Thomas Health System (Thomas Memorial and Saint Francis hospitals), Charleston and South Charleston. 304-766-3431. Four-week American Diabetes Association-recognized self-management classes in morning, afternoon and evening. Costs about $900, can be billed to insurance.
  • United Hospital Center, Clarksburg, serving Harrison and Marion counties, 681-342-1860. Support groups and one-on-ones for adults and children, American Diabetes Association-approved self-management classes and chronic disease self-management classes, gestational diabetes counseling, multiple-dose insulin training, dietitian counseling.
  • War Memorial Hospital, Berkeley Springs. 304-258-6577. Diabetes support group, once a month.
  • West Virginia University Hospitals, Morgantown. 304-598 4391 ext. 1. At Ruby Memorial Hospital: Group classes for patients and their supporters; once-a-month support group; gestational diabetes services. Visit http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Healthcare-Services/Diabetes/Diabetes-Education-Center.
  • West Virginia University Hospitals East, Martinsburg and Ranson: One-on-one consults, American Diabetes Association-recognized classes and three free support groups: children, teens, adults, once a month.
  • Wetzel County Hospital, New Martinsville. 304-455-8000. Certified diabetes educator offers classes once a month. Diabetes self-help class once a month, monthly support group.
  • Wheeling Hospital, Wheeling. 304-242-9355. Howard Long Wellness Center offers "Keys to Control" self-management classes, morning, afternoon and early evening. Adults only, but classes for diagnosed children in the planning. Exercise physiologist, certified diabetes educator, registered dietitian.
  • Williamson Memorial Hospital, Williamson. 304-235-2930. Two-session classes with certified diabetes educator.

Free clinics

All the state's 11 free clinics offer diabetes services, some more extensively than others. Health Right clinics provide free services to people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to buy health insurance. To locate a free clinic, visit www.wvafc.org.

  • West Virginia Health Right, Charleston. 304-414-5930. Diabetes self-management training, Weight Watchers, cooking classes, diabetic testing supplies.
  • Ebenezer Medical Outreach, Huntington. 304-529-0753. Diabetic cooking class. Occasional self-management classes. No one-on-one consults.
  • Health Access Inc., Clarksburg. 304-622-2708.  United Hospital Center gives Health Right patients diabetes self-management classes free of charge with referral.
  • Susan Dew Memorial Clinic, Milford. 304-745-3700. Diabetic dental counseling only.
  • Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic, Ranson. 304-724-6091. One-on-one counseling, help with transportation to clinic.
  • Mercer Charitable Clinic, Bluefield. 304-323-2431. One-on-one self-management training, referral to free classes at Princeton Community Hospital.
  • Milan Puskar Clinic, Morgantown. 304-292-8234. One-on-one counseling only.
  • Wheeling Health Right, Wheeling. 304-233-9323 ext. 8. Certified diabetes educator offers group classes on nutrition and cooking, medication management, physical activities, weight loss clinic. Classes once a week.
  • Beckley Health Right, Beckley. 304-253-3577. One-on-one counseling and group classes, Weight Watchers, diabetes cooking classes, can get testing supplies.
  • Hinton Health Right, Hinton. 304-466-9222. One-on-one diabetic counseling, referrals to fitness center, Weight Watchers. Diabetic counseling available free at Appalachian Regional Hospital, Hinton.
  • Good Samaritan Clinic, Parkersburg. 304-834-3986. One-on-one diabetes self-management training. Good Samaritan patients can get free or reduced-cost classes, with referral, at the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department and Camden Clark Hospital.

Community health centers

All 28 federally funded community health centers offer one-on-one diabetes consults, and some also offer diabetes classes and/or support groups. Fees are based on income. To find a center, visit wvpca.org.

  • Barbour: Belington Medical Clinic, Belington. 304-823-2800. Classes.
  • Berkeley: Shenandoah Community Health, Martinsburg. 304-263-4999, ext. 1024, orvrockw...@svms.net. Certified diabetes educator. Classes.
  • Boone/Raleigh: Hygeia Facilities, Whitesville. 304-854-1321.
  • Cabell: Valley Health Systems, Huntington. 304-525-3334 ext. 1
  • Calhoun / Gilmer: Minnie Hamilton Health Center. Grantsville and Glenville. 304-354-9244. Certified diabetes educator. Classes, community gym.
  • Clay: Primary Care Systems, Clay. 304-587-7301. Group diabetic medical visits. Classes.
  • Fayette/Raleigh: New River Health Association, Scarbro and Beckley. 304-465-2032 or 304-465-2292. Group medical visits, classes.
  • Grant: E.A. Hawse Health Center, Baker and Petersburg. 304-897-5915. Classes. Patients only.
  • Greenbrier: Northern Greenbrier Health Clinic, Williamsburg. 304-645-7872 ext. 17. Classes. Patients only.
  • Greenbrier: Rainelle Medical Center, Rainelle. 304-438-6188. Patients only. Classes.
  • Hancock/Brooke: Change Inc., Weirton. 304-797-7733.
  • Kanawha: Cabin Creek Health Center, Dawes and Clendenin. 304-595-5006 ext. 163. Classes. Patients only. 
  • Kanawha/Putnam: FamilyCare Health Center, Teays Valley 304-757-6669, Charleston 304-720-4466. Classes.
  • Lincoln: Lincoln Primary Care Center, Hamlin. 304-824-5806. Classes and community gym.
  • Marion: Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers, Fairmont. 304-367-8727. Classes. Certified diabetes educator. 
  • McDowell: Tug River Medical Center, Gary 304-448-2101. Fitness center, retinopathy.
  • Mercer: Bluestone Health Center, Princeton. 304-431-5499. Classes.
  • Monongalia: Clay-Battelle Health Services Association, Blacksville. 304-432-8211.
  • Monroe: Monroe Health Center, Union and Peterstown. 304-772-3064. Certified diabetes educators. Classes.
  • Pendleton: Pendleton Community Care, Franklin. 304-358-2355.
  • Preston/Taylor: Community Health Center, Grafton.  304-265-0312.
  • Ritchie/Pleasants: Ritchie Primary Care Association, Harrisville. 304-643-4005. Classes.
  • Roane: Roane County Family Health Care, Spencer. 304-927-8140. Classes.
  • Upshur: Tri-County Health Clinic, Rock Cave  304-924-6262.
  • Webster: Camden on Gauley Medical Center. 304-226-5725.
  • Wetzel: Community Health Center of Northwestern Wetzel County, Burton. 304-775-4671.
  • Wirt: Wirt County Health Services Association, Elizabeth. 304-273-1033. Classes at senior centers.

Four West Virginia drug stores are certified through the American Association of Diabetes Educators to provide diabetes education reimburseable by Medicare and some private insurance:

  • Parkersburg, Rite-Aid, Dudley Street, 304-422-4657. Certified diabetes educator, individual education and counseling. Diabetes support group.
  • Beckley, Colony Drug, Robert C. Byrd Drive, 304-252-5305 ext. 16. Certified diabetes educator, individual counseling, meter and monitor training, has applied for certification for group classes. EmailAvau...@suddenlinkmail.com
  • Grafton, Rite-Aid, North Pike Street, 304-265-0758. Four diabetes specialists, one-on-one education and counseling, monthly to weekly visits, depending on need.
  • Petersburg, Judy's Drug Store, 304-257-1044 ext. 3. Pharmacist, dietician, certified diabetes educator, dietician. Insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring, medical nutrition therapy. Classes offered continuously: initial one-on-one consult, followed by three days of class, then two follow-ups.
  • Summersville, Nicholas Pharmacy, 304-872-2777. Diabetic counseling, medication management and lifestyle adjustment counseling. Set goals, then meet periodically. Certified diabetes educator-in-training. Face to Face and general public.
  • Two more state Rite-Aids have applied for certification: on MacCorkle Avenue Southeast in Charleston (Kanawha City) and on Fairmont Road in Westover.
  • Nicholas County, Summersville: Nicholas Pharmacy (304) 872-2777. Diabetic counseling, medication management and lifestyle adjustment counseling. Multi-session. Set goals, then meet periodically. Pharmacist, certified diabetes educator-in-training. Face to Face and general public.

Health departments

Only four county health departments offer diabetic services beyond finger sticks and basic information. State law does not require -- or pay -- health departments to offer more complete services. Here are the ones that do:

  • Mid-Ohio Valley. This six-county department offers full-scale classes and individual counseling at health department offices, local businesses, schools, churches and other sites. Includes Wood, Pleasants, Roane, Wirt, Calhoun and Ritchie counties, 304-485-7374.
  • Lincoln. Individual counseling at the Hamlin office and a parish nurse program in numerous county churches,  304-824-3330.
  • Randolph. Individual group counseling in partnership with Davis Memorial Hospital, 304-636-0396.
  • Boone. A monthly diabetes support group meets in Danville, 304-369-7967.

Support groups

In support groups, people trade information, advice and encouragement. Medical professionals may attend, but the sessions are not detailed education classes. Below are contacts and meeting times as available for support groups around the state:

  • Boone: Boone County Health Department, 304-369-7967, liz.g.law...@wv.gov.
  • Cabell: Valley Health Systems, 304-525-3334 ext. 1.
  • Cabell: Huntington, Marshall University 304-691-1662. Second Monday of the month, 6 p.m.na...@marshall.edu.
  • Calhoun: Minnie Hamilton Health Center, 304-354-9244, Second Monday, 5 p.m.bmck...@mhcc.com.
  • Gilmer: Minnie Hamilton Health Center. 304-462-7322. Fourth Monday, 5 p.m.shar...@mhhcc.com.
  • Greenbrier: Greenbrier Valley Medical Center. 304-793-3545. Third Tuesday, 5 p.m.Emilee....@gvmc.com.
  • Harrison/Marion: United Hospital Center. 681-342-1000, Mary Frances Veltri.
  • Jefferson: War Memorial Hospital. 304-258-6577. First Thursday, 6:30 p.m. pcoo...@valleyhealthlink.com. No July or December meetings.
  • Mercer: Princeton Community Hospital. 304-487-7283, 304-487-7074. Third Thursday at 6:30 p.m. cpet...@pchonline.org.
  • Mineral: Potomac Valley Hospital, 304-597-3500 ext. 3774. First Tuesday, 6 p.m.
  • Monongalia: Monongalia General Hospital, Diabetes Learning Center 304-598-0763.  3rd Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.. mccar...@monhealthsyst.org Call to check time.
  • Monongalia: Ruby Memorial, 304-598-4391, ext. 1. Second Thursday, 6:30 p.m.K...@wvuhealthcare.edu. Call or email for directions.
  • Pocahontas: Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, 304-799-7400 ext. 1032.  Last Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. twag...@pmhwv.org.
  • Randolph: Davis Memorial Hospital, 304-457-4669. Second Tuesday, 6 p.m.,mos...@davishealthsystem.org.
  • Wetzel: Wetzel County Hospital. 304-455-8000. Last Tuesday, 6 p.m.
  • Wood: St. Johns United Church, Vienna, 304-422-4657, sponsored by Parkersburg Rite Aid (Dudley Street). First Tuesday, 6 p.m.
  • Wood: Camden Clark Hospital Diabetic Wellness Center, 304-424-2400.

More resources

  • Certified diabetes educators. Many work at hospitals, health centers and pharmacies. Some take private clients. The American Association of Diabetes Educators lists 51 in West Virginia. A partial list is at http://www.diabeteseducator.org/DiabetesEducation/Find.html
  • Endocrinologists (diabetes specialists). West Virginia's 48 endocrinologists are concentrated in more urban areas. Forty-one counties have none. The West Virginia Board of Medicine lists them at http://www.wvbom.wv.gov.
  • Face to Face. Diabetics covered by the Public Employees Insurance Agency can get ongoing counseling through a participating Face to Face pharmacist in 51 counties,https://www.peiaf2f.com.
  • Dining with Diabetes. Many WVU Extension agents offer cooking classes and nutrition education, http://www.ext.wvu.edu/county_offices.

n Chronic Disease Self-Management classes. Volunteers trained by Marshall University staff lead classes at churches, health clinics, fire departments, hospitals and other community sites. There are classes for people with all chronic illnesses, including diabetes,http://www.selfmanagementonline.org/.

SOURCES: West Virginia Hospital Association, West Virginia Primary Care Association, West Virginia Association of Free Clinics, Marshall University Medical School, Bureau of Public Health, individual hospitals, drug stores, community health centers, public health departments, support groups, and coalitions.

This article was originally published on The Charleston Gazette.