Clara Barton Hospital Offers Additional Services: Nutrition and Diabetes Education

April 17, 2019

Over the years, Clara Barton Hospital has been focused on expanding its services to treat all aspects of a patient in one convenient location. In most recent years, there has been an increase in initiatives to educate the community on ways to not only achieve, but also maintain a healthy lifestyle. Establishing a nutritious diet is the foundation to building a healthy community. Poor nutrition can lead to obesity and increase the risk for developing diabetes and a variety of disorders and conditions, some that are potentially life-threatening. In efforts to improve patient care and the health of our community, Clara Barton Hospital is excited to announce the addition of two new services; Nutrition & Weight Management and Diabetes Education.

Registered Dietitian, Abi Boxberger, is a full-time dietitian that has been with CBH since January, providing a full range of both inpatient and outpatient nutrition services designed to help patients reach their optimal health and feel their best.

Boxberger grew up in Hoisington/Claflin area. She attended Barton Community College where she received her Associate of Science in 2015. She then continued her education at Kansas State University, where she received her Bachelors of Science in Dietetics.

As a Registered Dietitian, Boxberger uses evidence-based nutrition care for treatment of acute and chronic illness and to promote nutritional health for adults and children. An individualized nutrition assessment is performed for each patient to create an individualized plan, whether it is used to assist with special dietary requirements or to simply learn how to eat healthier.

“As a culture, we have made eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle WAY too complicated and confusing,” said Boxberger. “I want to help everyone avoid feeling overwhelmed when searching for reliable nutrition information. Instead, I hope to help them start making small changes to their lifestyles, which can in turn have a huge impact on the overall health of our community.”

Patients interested in managing a chronic disease such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, etc, those that are confused about diet trends, or those who need that extra help to be held accountable for their goals are all encouraged to make an appointment with Boxberger.

In addition to nutritional services, Diabetes Education, taught by Kelly Heuer, RN, BSN, CDE offers patients the self-care management skills necessary to improve their quality of life using disease management strategies.

Abi Boxberger.jpg
Abi Boxberger, RDN, LD
Registered Dietitian
Kelly Heuer.jpg
Kelly Heuer, RN, BSN, CDE
Certified Diabetes Educator

Heuer moved from Holdrege, Nebraska to Great Bend in her high school years.  She graduated from Barton Community College with her Associates of Science in Nursing degree in 2014 and passed her Registered Nursing boards that same year. In 2017, she gained experience working with diabetic patients at Clara Barton Medical Clinic and decided to continue her education. Heuer received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Wichita State University in 2018, and recently passed the Certification for Diabetes Educator exam in February.

“I am passionate about my role as a Diabetes Educator because I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 12 years old,” said Heuer. “I have been a patient of several diabetes educators over the years, but always found them a bit difficult to relate to because none of them actually had diabetes. I hope that by facing the same challenges day in and day out as my patients, they can find comfort in knowing and trusting that I understand what they are going through so I can help them thrive with their condition.”

There are a variety of factors to consider when living with diabetes, including healthy eating, being active, regular monitoring, and taking medication. This program is designed to assist patients by developing an individualized wellness plan and strategies to help achieve diabetes related goals. It’s imperative that those living with diabetes have the tools needed to reduce risks and complications and the skills needed to problem-solve and cope in a healthy manner.

Patients with diabetes that can benefit from the Diabetes Education Program are those that are newly diagnosed, have never had diabetes education, or have gone several years since consulting with a Diabetes Educator. Family members are encouraged to attend so they can become knowledgeable about the disease and what actions need to be taken if a life-threatening diabetic emergency were to arise.

“I think our diabetes education services can help our community to better understand what diabetes is and the proper ways to manage it,” said Heuer. “Our services can provide people with the education, tools, and skills needed for someone with diabetes to live happy and healthy life.”

Both Boxberger and Heuer are seeing patients at all three Clara Barton locations in Hoisington, Great Bend and Russell. Diabetes education and nutrition appointments are available Monday through Friday at Clara Barton Hospital in Hoisington and on Friday afternoons at Russell Family Medical Care. Appointments can be scheduled at Clara Barton Medical Clinic in Great Bend on the first Wednesday of the month for Diabetes Education and on the first and third Wednesday of the month for Nutrition & Weight Management.

“We have been working very hard to provide our patients with the opportunity to be involved in their own healthcare journey,” said Jane Schepmann, Chief Nursing Officer. “What Kelly and Abi have to offer fits in perfectly with this initiative and we are privileged to teach our patients ways in which they can lead happy and healthy lives.”

To schedule an appointment or for more information about how these services could benefit you, please call Clara Barton Hospital at 620-653-2114.

For Life-Threatening Emergencies Call 911