(Sept. 28, 2018) Diabetics in Worcester County can find treatment closer to home now, as Peninsula Regional Endocrinology Berlin office officially opened last Wednesday.
Nearly 15 percent of Worcester County’s population suffers from diabetes, according to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, well above the national average. According to the Center for Disease Control, the average percentage nationally is a little more than 9 percent of the population, putting Worcester’s rate some 60 percent higher.
“Diabetes is one of those chronic disease … [and] a specific community health risk, and we must attack it on many fronts here on Delmarva,” said Steve Leonard, president and CEO of Peninsula Regional Medical Center, part of Peninsula Regional Health System.
Dr. Jack Snitzer, who will bring his endocrinology practice to Berlin while maintaining his Salisbury hours, agreed.
“Our goal is to make their lives more normal, and I think the more doctors they have doing that, the better,” Snitzer said.
Snitzer cited genetics, obesity and negative lifestyle choices as contributing factors to Type 2 Diabetes. Snitzer added that a significant portion of the area’s increasing population consists of retirement-aged residents.
“We’re getting a lot more people, older people coming to the area, and they are just finally getting diabetes,” Snitzer said.
That is prevalent in Medicare statistics, according to Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s findings, which show that approximately 26 percent of the county’s Medicare recipients have diabetes. The medical center also found that 40 percent of the county’s population is obese, “a serious risk for community,” Leonard said.
Last week’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Berlin office marked the end of a considerable inconvenience to residents struggling with endocrine issues.
“There’s a lot of patients in this area that were having to travel to a neighboring city to get to their appointment and were not able to be seen,” said Juman Takkedin, a board-certified endocrinologist. “So [patients] were really glad to have this resource. It’s good that it’s accessible to them.”
The Berlin center also will help maintain an open channel of communications between health care providers and patients, when creating and adjusting treatment plans, Snitzer said.
“Every second of every day they have diabetes, and they’re here for just a brief period of time, and they’re home for 99.9 percent of the time,” Snitzer said.
The center offers insulin pump and glucose sensor therapies as ways to help diabetes suffers, but it also provides services for other endocrine issues such as thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, sodium, potassium, blood pressure and cholesterol problems.
“We’re pleased to help people here, not only treat their disease, but also learn what they can do better to manage their diabetes, and for some to prevent it from ever happening,” Leonard said.
Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Endocrinology Practice is on 314 Franklin Ave., Suite 108, in Berlin. Call the office at 410-912-6023 with questions or to make an appointment.