March 20, 2013

For more than nine months now, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital’s Mother and Baby Care Unit has been working on a Hispanic outreach program to benefit expecting mothers.  Through a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield BluePrints for the Community, Marisela Serna, RN has been working through LaRed Health Services in Georgetown to support patients identified with Gestational Diabetes. 

Gestational Diabetes occurs in women who are pregnant.  When a woman is pregnant, hormonal changes can cause the cells in a woman’s body to be less responsive to insulin.  Insulin is the hormone produced that helps the cells in the body absorb sugars or glucose.  According to the American Diabetes Association, pregnant women are more at risk of developing gestational diabetes if they are obese, have had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, or have a strong family history of diabetes.

If a woman’s blood sugar becomes too high, sugar can appear in the baby’s blood causing the baby to produce more insulin.  All the extra sugar and insulin can cause the baby to put on weight.  This leads to complications for the mother and the baby during delivery.  Overall, about 2 to 10% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes.  Nanticoke Health Services’ Mother and Baby Care Unit however found it was seeing a number of patients from the Hispanic community with gestational diabetes causing complications for mothers and newborns.

Since the implementation of the Hispanic Outreach Program more than nine months ago, Nanticoke is pleased to report that Marisela is supporting nearly 40 women identified with gestational diabetes.  Those with gestational diabetes are followed to be sure they are receiving health care and education to help them get control of their diabetes during pregnancy.  Additionally nearly 140 women have received education and support related to nutrition and physical activity to improve the health for them and their families. 

“It is so important that Hispanic women receive health care and education during pregnancy.  A baby should not have complications or die because a mother didn’t understand how to help her unborn child through diet, exercise and proper health care,” said Ms. Serna, RN Nurse Educator and Outreach Program Coordinator.  “These children are too important to their families and to our community.”

For more information about this program, call Marisela Serna, RN, (302) 245-1899.

Nanticoke Health Services features an award winning, full-service community hospital. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital is ranked number one in Delaware and among America’s Best 100 Hospitals for Critical Care, among the top 5% in the nation for Emergency Medicine for 2012 by HealthGrades, Inc. Nanticoke has been named one of the Best 100 Places to Work in Healthcare by Becker’s Hospital Review for the second year in a row. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital holds a Level III trauma status and includes an expanding interventional cardiology program. Nanticoke is nationally accredited by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and is a Gold Plus Award performer according to the American Heart/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®. Nanticoke’s medical staff includes over 120 active staff physicians practicing in 40 different specialties.