Diabetes Care and Education

The Diabetes Care and Education Program was established to address a chronic health condition that impacts a significant number of BVMI patients.

29% of BVMI patients have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, circulatory problems and neuropathy, visual impairment, kidney disease – even death.

The intake for all patients includes a comprehensive primary care examination. If results indicate that they are diabetic or pre-diabetic, they are then referred to our diabetes team for further care and follow up.

We help patients living with diabetes 

Carlos is a diabetic single father with two young sons who works for a modest wage at a hardware store to support his family. Unable to afford medical care, he was forced to neglect his diabetes and soon had great difficulty in performing the physical labor required as part of his job. Referred to BVMI by a friend, Carlos underwent a complete medical workup by Dr. Charlotte Sokol, a BVMI volunteer who is a retired diabetes specialist and former director of the Diabetes Clinic at Hackensack University Medical Center. Finding Carlos’ diabetes to be out of control, Dr. Sokol enrolled him in a pharmaceutical patient assistance program to obtain insulin at no cost, and instructed him in a home regimen that includes testing his blood sugar regularly, and focusing on diet and exercise. “Dr. Sokol saved my life,” Carlos says. “Without her help and having access to the BVMI medical support network, I wouldn’t be able to hold onto my job and support my boys.”

BVMI is extremely fortunate to have a dedicated team of diabetes professionals:

Charlotte Sokol, MD, is a pioneer in care for diabetes patients, having spent her professional career at Hackensack Hospital. Dr. Sokol plays an integral role in helping to guide and manage the Diabetes Care and Education Program.

Holly Homa, RN, BC, CDE, is BVMI’s Certified Diabetes Educator. She works with diabetic patients to help them manage their disease. She has a strong interest in nutrition, and provides patients with education on the importance of healthy eating and carbohydrate counting, as well as information on medication management and self-monitoring.

Vicky Fliman, RN, is BVMI’s Patient Navigator. She works with pre-diabetic patients to help them make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent them from becoming diabetic. Changes in diet and exercise can make a difference, not only to the patient but also to the entire family.


Why It Matters:

Diabetes by the numbers
  • 29.1 million people in the US have diabetes – one out of 11 people
  • $245 billion in medical costs and lost work and wages
  • One out of every 12 Asian Americans has diabetes
  • African Americans are almost two times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites
  • US Hispanics are almost two times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites
  • 86 million people – 1/3 of adults – have pre-diabetes
  • 15-30% of people with pre-diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within 5 years