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November 12, 2019

11/8/2019 3:21:00 PM
Free Diabetes eye checks Saturdays in November

November is Diabetes Prevention Month.
Through the partnership of Community Connections Clinic, Davis Duehr Dean Eye Care Center in Dodgeville and Thrivent Financial free diabetes checks are taking place on Saturdays throughout November at the office on Elaine Court.
Rickels will perform dilated eye exams to diabetic clients with the help of the staff at the clinic, volunteers and interpreters assisted with A1C testing. The first exam day took place on November 2. There were 17 seen by Dr. Rickels that day, with much of the organization and scheduling of patients being done by Laura Isaacson, a volunteer Registered Dietitian.
Rickels looked for signs of diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma.
Some information as to how this month-long process is taking place.
At a Free Clinic monthly board meeting a concern surfaced regarding Eye Health in diabetic patients. Dr. Aaron Dunn, provider for the CC Free Clinic reached out to Davis Duehr Dean Eye Care Center in Dodgeville. Dr. Rickels confirmed he would volunteer his services to see patients. Staff at Davis Duehr Dean volunteered to stay beyond their typical noon closing time on Saturdays to allow as many patients as possible.
There were over 15 volunteers from the Free Clinic, including Dani Wetter, VISTA Volunteer, Rebecca Steffes, Nurse Manager and June Meudt, Board Secretary. They all worked to schedule patients, greet them and collect current HbA1C readings. Several volunteers assisted with Spanish speaking patients.
The event began with a grant from Thrivent Community, which brings together members and volunteers for a positive impact in their community. This was led by Cathy Bramlett, a financial professional with Thrivent Financial.
Bramlett expressed thanks to the volunteers and Dr. Rickels. She said she heard first hand of several patients who were especially thankful for their exam.
A few were: One lady couldn't understand why her vision was so poor. After the exam she was surprised to learn that her eyes were healthy and it was as simple as wearing glasses to correct her vision. Another gentleman learned he had moderate retinopathy, which is reversible. He also may benefit from having additional testing for glaucoma, which is not reversible, but he can minimize the progression with eye drops.

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