HAZARD, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2019) — The Mary E. Martin (MEM) Diabetes Center of Excellence in Hazard has become the first affiliate of the University of Kentucky Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center (BBDC). A celebration for the inaugural affiliation was held at the Primary Care Center of Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 13.
MEM Diabetes Center will also be the first ambulatory affiliation with UK HealthCare.
Joining officials from UK HealthCare and the Primary Care Center were Perry County Judge/Executive Scott Alexander and Karen Kelly, representative from Congressman Hal Rogers' office.
Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects over 30 million people in the United States with about 7.2 million of these people undiagnosed. Diabetes is now the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and one of the costliest to treat with an annual cost of treatment at $245 billion.
For more than a decade, the UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center has been a leader in diabetes prevention, education, research and comprehensive care. However, as the burden of diabetes in Kentucky continues to grow, the UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is pushing forward to improve diabetes prevention and quality of life and to increase better health outcomes.
"I want to welcome the Mary E. Martin Diabetes Center and all of their patients and providers to our UK team," said Dr. Mark F. Newman, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "We can achieve more by working together in partnerships such as this to better serve the patients and communities throughout this region and the Commonwealth.”
The Mary E. Martin Diabetes Center of Excellence is a leader in providing comprehensive treatment to diabetes patients in Hazard and Eastern Kentucky and is part of the Primary Care Center of Eastern Kentucky.
"Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky and Mary E. Martin Diabetes Center of Excellence are very pleased to expand its partnership with the University of Kentucky’s Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center," said Barry Martin, chair of the board of directors for the Mary E. Martin Diabetes Center of Excellence. "Addressing the issue of diabetes is essential to improving the health of Kentuckians who suffer from this illness.
"The new partnership will bring needed support and hope for our community and, we hope, all Eastern Kentucky communities. We deeply appreciate the commitment by the University to our clinic, our region, and to the Commonwealth."
The aim for Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center affiliates is to promote evidence-based approaches to diabetes as well as provide standardized methods to diabetes education. As an affiliate, the center in Hazard will have access to clinical research trials and to the clinical expertise of UK faculty in diabetes and endocrinology. Additionally, access to educational materials and UK programs for patients as well as training and education programs for staff and providers and collaborative approaches to quality and process improvement.
The Center at UK was first established when twins Patricia Barnstable Brown and Priscilla Barnstable along with their mother Wilma, pledged the initial funding to support the center in memory of Patricia Barnstable Brown’s husband, David, who passed away from complications of diabetes in 2003.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.