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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Diabetes Services

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Diabetes Services Program 

Florida Department of Health (FDOH)-Bay County is committed to excellence in diabetes prevention, education and therapy for those in need.  We seek to support and promote the concept of health education.  Development of health management strategies integrated with health education are integral components toward decreasing risk for development of diabetes as well as management of the disease for those who are already diagnosed. 

The Diabetes Services Program seeks to address the need for educating Bay County residents and helping them manage their health through the offering of diabetes prevention and self-management education.  Current offerings include:

  • National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) -   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – led National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is an evidence-based lifestyle change program for preventing Type 2 diabetes.  The Diabetes Prevention Program research study showed that making modest behavior changes helped participants lose 5% to 7% of their body weight which reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% in people with pre-diabetes.  It teaches participants strategies for incorporating physical activity into daily life and eating healthy.  Participants meet in a group setting to receive a 1-year lifestyle change program that includes 16 weekly core sessions and 6 monthly follow-up sessions with a trained Lifestyle Coach.  Our program is listed in CDC’s Registry of Recognized Programs and is pending recognition.   
  • Advanced Diabetes Self - Management Education (ADSME) –Studies show that people who learn more about diabetes, have improved blood glucose levels, are better controlled, reduce their risk of complications and improve their quality of life.  The Advanced Diabetes Self - Management Education (ADSME) classes, facilitated and taught by certified diabetes educators, meet for 3 weekly sessions, and 1 follow up session, for a total of 12 hours of diabetes education over an 8 week period of time.  Our program utilizes the International Diabetes Center (IDC) curriculum and we are actively seeking American Association of Diabetic Educator’s program accreditation. 
  • Type 2 Diabetes Support Group – Studies indicate that people involved in a support group experience greater success than those who do it alone.  Type 2 Diabetes Support Group, led by registered nurses and certified diabetes educators, offers continuing diabetes education on topics diabetic patients need to know about.  Not your typical support group, each meeting begins with an educational segment, chosen by members, lasting approximately 45 minutes, followed by group discussion.  Topics can range from -- “how to” to “what’s new”!  The Support Group is held on the first Wednesday of each month. 
  • Survival Skills - This educational offering is for the patient recently discharged from inpatient hospitalization with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and referred by hospital discharge personnel.  It may also be helpful to the patient who has been diagnosed with diabetes for some time but needs a refresher education session to help them better manage their condition.  This basic diabetes education class can answer the patient’s immediate questions and concerns about how to take care of themselves right after diagnosis, what to eat, how to monitor blood glucose levels and how to administer insulin.  Registered nurses offer instruction. 
  • Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) – Registered dieticians/certified diabetes educators provide education on preventing diabetes, managing existing diabetes, and preventing, or at least slowing, the rate of development of diabetes complications.  The goal of this education is to educate participants on the role of nutrition interventions in an effort to achieve normal or near-normal blood glucose levels.   Medical nutrition therapy encourages individuals with type 2 diabetes to implement lifestyle strategies that will improve glycemia, dyslipidemia, and blood pressure.   CDEs assist participants to set goals and develop healthy meal plans that can facilitate weight loss.  Individualized assessment and meal planning also provide participants with blood glucose and lifestyle management strategies that are manageable.  Particular emphasis is placed on educating the client toward prevention of hypoglycemia, sick day management, exercise and timing of insulin/meals toward improved health outcomes. 
  • Gestational Diabetes Consultation – Gestational diabetes consultation requires physician referral.  Registered dieticians/certified diabetes educators cover topics such as overview of gestational diabetes, blood glucose monitoring, nutrition counseling, insulin instruction and post-pregnancy care. 
  • Insulin Pump Training & Management – A certified diabetes educator trained and experienced in insulin pump management conducts one-on-one sessions with physician referred participants to cover basic and advanced insulin pump training. 


  • Community Education – Presentations on special topics related to diabetes prevention and management offered on a quarterly basis.
  • Diabetes Risk Screening – FDOH-Bay County clients and community members are offered the opportunity to take the diabetes risk test and have their blood screened to find out if he/she may be at risk for diabetes.  It only takes a few minutes, doesn’t hurt and may put one on the path to a healthier tomorrow.  Screening is offered daily at the health department’s main facility on 11th Street and at the A.D. Harris Learning Village – After Hours Clinic.  Screenings may also be scheduled for community wide events upon request. 

The Diabetes Services program is based on the philosophy that medical supervision, along with education in the area of prevention and self-care management, nutrition, exercise, medication, and attitude are important components in the successful prevention and management of diabetes.  Clients are self-referred to program services or referred by their primary health care provider for prevention, education and management training.

Diabetes Services Program’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00am through 4:30pm.  Walk-Ins are welcome.  Consultations during alternate hours are possible with appointment.  Please contact any of our staff at:

Florida Department of Health in Bay County

597 West 11th Street

Panama City, Florida 32401

Main Switchboard (850) 872-4455 ext. 1460

Our Diabetes Services Program Team is composed of highly skilled health care professionals with the specializations and credentialing necessary to insure an optimal educational experience.  Our licensed dieticians and certified diabetes educators have multiple years of experience in successful diabetes education and program management. 

Meet our team:

  • Julie A. D. Tindall, MSN, RN, Diabetes Services Program Manager
  • Jo Colville, BSN, MA, CDE, LNC, Diabetes Services Consultant & Coordinator
  • Deanna Howard-Gonzalez, MBA, RD,LD/N, CDE
  • Michelle Gautreaux, RD, LD, Public Health Nutrition Consultant
  • Karla Mills, RN, Health Educator
  • Natasha Coleman, Senior Health Educator/Lifestyle Coach
  • Nancy Haralson, Staff Assistant/Community Outreach

If you have concerns, questions or suggestions about the services offered through the Diabetes Services Program, please contact the program manager at 850-872-4455 extension 1293.  We welcome your feedback and will utilize it for continuing improvement of service delivery. 

Links to Outside Diabetes Resources:

American Diabetes Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health