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Diabetes Education

Improve your quality of life with help from the UNC Health Johnston Diabetes Center in Smithfield. You’ll gain a wealth of tools and knowledge in our American Diabetes Association-recognized education program. Learn how to manage Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, so you can enjoy your healthiest possible life.

Your Diabetes Assessment

Once a doctor refers you to our program, you’ll receive a phone call to schedule the three appointments for the program. The first appointment is an hour-long, one-on-one meeting with a certified diabetes educator. Plan to discuss your current health and medical history during the visit.

Your diabetes educator will work with you to set small, achievable goals for healthy living and find ways you can stay motivated. Trust us to tailor the education program to your needs.

First Group Class

After your individual appointment, you and a loved one or support person take a six-hour diabetes class. You’ll learn about a wide variety of topics.

Living With Diabetes

  • Causes and types of diabetes
  • Foot and wound care
  • Guidelines for self-care during an illness
  • Home health care
  • Social and emotional well-being
  • Stress management
  • Ways to avoid short-term and long-term complications

Diet & Exercise

  • Benefits of exercising safely
  • Food groups
  • Food labels
  • Guidelines for protein, fat, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates
  • Meal planning
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Portion sizes

Managing Medications

Free Insulin

You may get up to your first 60 days worth of insulin free if you qualify for Project Access.

  • Blood glucose management and tracking
  • Correct use of medications
  • Insulin pump use

Patients With Special Needs

If you or someone you know has vision, hearing, or reading difficulties, ask us about one-on-one educational alternatives to the diabetes class.

Follow-Up Group Class After 3 Months

This two-hour class is to answer any questions, follow up on goals, and revisit any educational needs you might have. It takes place three months after your first group class.

Yearly Education

Most insurance companies cover two hours of diabetes education each year after your initial class. By attending classes yearly, you stay up to date on advances in diabetes care and maintain motivation in managing diabetes.

Support Group

Learn about community resources in our free, monthly diabetes support group at our Diabetes Center. Share your story, connect with your peers, and get encouragement to live well.

When: Third Tuesday of every month at 1:00 p.m.

Where: Johnston Medical Mall Auditorium

Hospital Care for Diabetes

During your hospital stay, your hospitalist may consult a certified diabetes educator to teach you how to prevent diabetes-related complications. The educator can provide information relevant to your diabetes management, including how to:

  • Monitor and manage blood sugar
  • Take medications correctly
  • Recognize when it’s time to call the doctor

If you do not have a primary care provider, we’ll refer you to one for follow-up care.

Learn More

Download our diabetes brochure [PDF] to see if you could be at risk for type 2 diabetes. Visit our online health library to learn more about the condition.

Diabetes Hotline

Call 919-209-3386 or email JHdiabeteshotline@unchealth.unc.edu to ask for advice managing diabetes. Certified diabetes educators at UNC Health Johnston answer the calls Monday through Friday. If we’re not available, leave a message, and we’ll respond within 48 hours.

Related Locations

Refer Your Patient

Download and complete the diabetes outpatient referral form [PDF] to help your patients live healthier with diabetes.

Support Patients With Diabetes

Donate to the Patient Assistance Fund to help provide lifesaving insulin for your low-income neighbors with diabetes.