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St. James Healthcare Foundation Receives 2009 Mother Xavier Ross Award

May 26, 2009
Butte, MT (April 28, 2009) – The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System (SCLHS) announced today that is has awarded the 2009 Mother Xavier Ross Award to the St. James Healthcare Foundation for its work with the Butte Community Diabetes Network (BCDN), an extensive community collaborative, committed to improving the health of persons with diabetes in Southwest Montana. BCDN, spearheaded by the St. James Healthcare’s diabetic group, was formed in 2007, and has evolved into a group of health care, social service, religious, and educational organizations working together to help control diabetes in Butte and surrounding communities and interconnected rural areas of Southwest Montana. “The Health System is pleased to present this award to St. James for the diabetes network,” said Sister Judith Jackson, SCLHS vice president of sponsorship. “The project has already significantly helped persons manage diabetes and will continue to use self-education and professional education as tools to accomplish its goals. Furthermore, the project represents a true community collaborative to address this serious health concern.” The St. James Healthcare Foundation will receive a $50,000 grant from SCLHS that will help BCDN sustain current programs and support a new critical segment—group diabetes self-management education classes that began in April 2009. Group classes have proven to be the most economical and successful way to produce quality education for the largest number of people, according to Ida Reighard, R.N., CDE, St. James’ diabetic education coordinator. “The primary intention of the network is to optimize the quality of life for the person with diabetes while keeping costs reasonable,” Reighard said. “The Mother Xavier Ross Award will make the group classes feasible for anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.” In the Butte area, the rate of diabetes, estimated between 6.6 percent and 7.1 percent, is higher than the state average (Montana Diabetes Project, 2007). Activities initiated and supported by the St. James diabetic group and BCDN include monthly support groups for adults and children with some people traveling as far as 60 miles to attend. In February 2009, 104 health professionals attended a 2-day diabetes education conference featuring a nationally recognized diabetic educator who also gave a free public presentation. Another professional session in March targeted physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. St. James and BCDN also offer diabetes education outreach in a variety of community settings. Through the BCDN collaborative, Reighard serves as the contact person for diabetic referrals. Assessments occur through this one contact with patients directed to appropriate resources, based on their individual needs. Partners in the network include physicians, the North American Indian Alliance (NAIA), the Butte YMCA, the Community Health Center, Montana Tech School of Nursing, Mountain Pacific Quality Health, and St. James.