MUSC, Fetter partner to start a diabetes prevention program for women

MUSC, Fetter partnership
Front row, L-R: Dr. Kevin Patel, Kristina Wallace, Dr. Sarah Hales, Dr. Aundrea Loftley, Sshune Rhodes, Alexus Williams. Back row, L-R: Dr. Marc-Andre Cornier, Dr. Sharvette Slaughter, Leah Hopkins, Kelly Hunt, Dr. Harsha Karanchi.

The MUSC Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolic Diseases recently established a partnership with Fetter Health Care Network, a federally qualified health care center that serves Charleston, Berkeley, Colleton, and Dorchester Counties, to start a diabetes prevention program for women.

The partnership, made possible through grant funding from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation (Diabetes Free South Carolina), seeks to offer improved access to care and to eliminate health disparities in the community.

Women aged 18 to 35 who are at high risk for diabetes (with prediabetes or history of gestational diabetes or overweight/obesity/family history of diabetes) can receive care at Fetter. Participants will receive virtual group-based and one-on-one care with MUSC specialists in lifestyle change, nutrition, and weight management via telehealth.

“This prevention program will increase access to specialized care for women at high risk of developing diabetes,” said Marc-Andre Cornier, M.D., director of the Division of Endocrinology.

The affiliation will include opportunities for care coordination when Fetter patients need MUSC specialty or hospital-based services as well as other community initiatives to increase access to high-quality health care for all residents. Fetter is one of MUSC Health’s initial affiliates in a statewide strategy to increase access to care for rural and underserved communities through new agreements with FQHCs located in those communities.

“We will use a multidisciplinary and culturally tailored model of diabetes prevention involving education and empowerment of patients, partnership with primary care teams and stakeholders to enhance screening, recruitment and retention, while reducing healthcare inequities,” said Harsha Karanchi, M.D., program director of the new Women’s Health Initiative.

As of now, the program is available at Charleston-area Fetter locations with the goal to expand throughout South Carolina.