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Published on March 29, 2016

Building a Better Life

Empower Health Magazine September - December 2015

Tony WoodsonFor Tony Woodson, 55, of Genoa, a prescription for insulin was a wake-up call.

After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes six years ago, Woodson thought he had made the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes to control his blood sugar.

“I am the clinical development coordinator for simulation at Kishwaukee Hospital, and I had worked as an emergency room nurse, so I thought I could handle this,” Woodson says. “The truth was I couldn’t, and my diabetes control got worse.”

Woodson’s primary care physician put him on insulin and referred him to the KishHealth System Diabetes Education Center at Kishwaukee Hospital.

Individualized Care

One-on-one work with a diabetes educator became the key to controlling his diabetes.

“I thought I was eating better than I was before I was diagnosed, but I really wasn’t,” Woodson says. “I never really understood the importance of exercise before going to the Diabetes Education Center. Having this support system available really helps me succeed.”

In addition to helping patients like Woodson who have Type 2 diabetes, the center works with those with Type 1, gestational, and prediabetes.

“We see people in both individual and group settings, depending on which type of program best fits their needs,” says Peggy Marchini, RDN, CDE, diabetes educator with KishHealth System Diabetes Education Center, DeKalb. “We don’t just hand out educational materials. We provide individualized, personal care and education, and we work hard to help patients manage their diabetes effectively.”

Results that Matter

After working with the center, Woodson saw real results.

“I’m down 25 pounds and counting,” he says. “I’m exercising three days a week, thanks to a partnership with the hospital and the local YMCA.”

After recommitting to the lifestyle changes required for healthy living with diabetes, Woodson is looking forward to many more years with his wife and two children.

“I stopped thinking ‘oh, my blood sugar’s not that high,’ because I want to be here for the long term,” Woodson says. “You have to change your diet and activity level, and basically do all the things you know you should do, but never did. The coaching I received is helping me succeed.”

Starting Inside

This year, the KishHealth System Diabetes Education Centers in DeKalb and Sandwich will be offering a six-week diabetes management course, patterned after author, Dr. Michelle May’s Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program. This comprehensive education program offers a practical approach that shifts the focus away from rigid nutrition rules and strict exercise regimens.

“According to Dr. May, this inside-out approach to eating and self care focuses on changing thoughts and feelings first so that changes in behavior will last,” says Peggy Marchini, RDN, certified diabetes educator at Kishwaukee Hospital. “This program is designed to help participants ask questions and become more mindful about their decisions.”

Learn more about KishHealth System Diabetes Education at

Upcoming Events

  • May
    9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    A KishHealth System Diabetes Educator teaches you how to focus on changing thoughts and feelings first, so behavior changes will last.
  • May
    9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    A KishHealth System Diabetes Educator teaches you how to focus on changing thoughts and feelings first, so behavior changes will last.
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