Pandemic or not, people still carry mobile phones wherever they go, and one of the things they can view on those phones is advice on maintaining good health — in a safe, socially distanced way.

Designed by representatives from multiple medical departments — clinical nutrition, endocrinology and Geisinger Health and Wellness — Geisinger’s text message program is available at no cost for diabetic and pre-diabetic individuals.

“If a patient enrolls in this program they get a clinical pearl, if you will, of advice on how to maintain good control of their blood sugar through a texting forum,” said Michelle Passaretti, RN, senior director of health at Geisinger Steele Institute for Health Innovation.

The text messages provide education on nutrition, medication compliance and the importance of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.

“It’s a free program that helps to provide some level of care to a patient,” Passaretti said. “It gives patients reminders to help them stay healthy.”

The text message program is one of several systems Geisinger has created to reach out to patients.

“At the end of the day, however we can best meet the patient where they are, through a variety of different ways, whether through our texting program, our telephonic outreach, or being able to offer in-patient visits to those who most need it, we’re here for them,” Passaretti said. “We’re here to help navigate these waters and deliver the care to them on terms they find most appropriate.”

Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to her at CindyOHerman@gmail.com

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