Company: Diabetes Care Program, Gila River Health Care
Location: San Tan Valley, AZ
San Tan Valley, AZ, February 19, 2015, Leonard R. Sanders, MD, CDE, BC-ADM, FACP, Director of the Diabetes Care Program at Gila River Health Care, has been recognized by Elite American Physicians for dedication, achievements and leadership in internal medicine.
Dr. Sanders is Medical Director of Diabetes Care Services and Dialysis Services at Gila River Health Care in Sacaton, Arizona. Currently a Certified Diabetes Educator, Dr. Sanders has been formally teaching and motivating diabetic patients to improve their overall health for over 30 years. For the past five years he has worked with the Pima Indians at Gila River Health Care. He has developed a Diabetes Care Program (DCP) at Gila River Health Care that is based on the Chronic Care Model and the Social Determinants of Health. The core goal of the program is to support the patient and family to be the major managers of their health care. By following the guidelines of his DCP, providers remind patients that they are empowered and impart sufficient knowledge, education, and support to enhance patient self-determination and ultimately self-management. Providers then promote cultural sensitivity and take into account patient social determinants of health. Based on the DCP, providers teach the patients about their ABCS for diabetes care and support patients to select goals and achievable behavior changes to realistically meet their goals. ABCS is an abbreviation for A1c, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Smoking. Dr. Sanders has conducted numerous provider and educator presentations to change the paradigm of diabetes care toward the above DCP approach. Ultimately he expects the DCP to improve patient empowerment, self-determination, and self-care. The success of his DCP has been measured by improving the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) eleven patient care parameters to a level that meets the requirement for NCQA certification in Diabetes Care excellence. Dr. Sanders has given hundreds of presentations to staff and patients over the years. Many of these have been related to motivation and empowerment. He has several publications in national peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. He is now a popular speaker on the Native American Speaking Circuit for diabetes, education, treatment, and care. His presentations focus on the theme of “Empowering Patients” to improve their ABCS and reduce or prevent Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). Dr. Sanders’ presentations are based on the success of his established Diabetes Care Program (DCP) at Gila River Health Care.
Dr. Sanders is primarily responsible for directing the Diabetes Care program, which administers a team-based approach for the care of nearly 6,000 patients with diabetes using EHR, reminders, and evidence-based algorithms to assist primary care physicians and address the 11 National Committee for Quality Assurance parameters for excellence in diabetes care, and for training all staff to provide optimal diabetes care. He also serves as the medical director of the Diabetes Education Center, sets the guidelines and algorithms of diabetes education and specific treatment parameters for diabetes care, and selects and tests software and hardware innovations for improved diabetes patient care; moreover, he consults on endocrinology, metabolism, and diabetes Consultancy, and makes referrals for all endocrinology, lipid, and diabetes related problems for those ages 10 and up. He also makes referrals for difficult-to-manage hypertension and kidney and dialysis related problems, serves as the medical director for the East and West Dialysis Centers, and makes patient assessments, quality assurance and performance improvement programs, staff education, training and performance, dialysis policies and procedures, as well as infection control, dialysis water quality, and discharge and transfer policies. He serves as a pharmacy and therapeutics chairperson, handles new medication approvals, and updates staff physicians on medication protocols and prescribing practices for the best cost-effective patient care, and reviews current literature on best practices, which includes more than 200 articles published within the preceding two months, as well. Dr. Sanders discusses these articles with more than 50 health care providers in women’s health, pediatrics, family practice, internal medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, pharmacy, and behavioral health, and assists in the implementation and design of electronic health record reminders, specialized views for dialysis, medication prescribing and medication reconciliation, speech recognition programs and portable devices. Upon reflecting on a rewarding career, Dr. Sanders has come to attribute his success to a firm desire to help others achieve overall better health and quality of life. Dr. Sanders has always approached each patient holistically. That is instead of just treating an illness; he looks at an individual’s overall physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being before recommending treatment. He then helps the patient chose the therapy and behavior changes that they feel they can incorporate into their lifestyle and their Social Determinants of Health. Additionally, he attributes success to a lot of hard work, determination, effort, desire, and belief that he can make a difference.
Contact Leonard R. Sanders, MD, CDE, BC-ADM, FACP