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Regional health care provided recognized

TICONDEROGA - Hudson Headwaters Health Network has received recognition from the National Committee on Quality Assurance for delivering high-quality health care services to people with diabetes.

Hudson Headwaters operates health centers in Ticonderoga, Moriah and Schroon Lake.

"The NCQA seal is a widely known symbol of quality," said John Rugge, M.D., CEO of Hudson Headwaters. "To be recognized, health care organizations must first pass a rigorous, comprehensive review and must periodically report on their performance. We had to prove that we are providing a high level of care to our patients with diabetes and that we are consistently looking out for all the problems associated with their chronic condition."

Rugge noted that Hudson Headwaters' increased attention to diabetes will translate into big benefits for patients.

"Our enhanced monitoring of diabetes means that we are catching associated conditions earlier, allowing us to avert diabetes-related complications like blindness and loss of limbs. It means that our patients with diabetes can have a better life."

"We have put procedures in place to identify our patients with diabetes and make sure that they receive all the treatments appropriate for their condition," said Cyndi Nassivera-Cordes, vice president of medical support for Hudson Headwaters.

Cordes noted that Hudson Headwaters' efforts in this area started 18 months ago when it undertook a comprehensive review of the chronic diseases most common in its patients. Diabetes was among the most prevalent. Based on evidence-based clinical guidelines, Hudson Headwaters drew up a plan to meet the 10 measures that NCQA uses to determine the effectiveness of diabetes treatment. These include monitoring and controlling blood sugar levels, eye health, blood pressure, nerve disorders, cholesterol levels and smoking status. Hudson Headwaters then submitted its clinical data to NCQA for review.

"We had been tracking these factors for a long time," Cordes said, "but we didn't have foolproof systems in place to ensure that everyone filled their prescriptions, went for recommended tests or followed other related medical advice. Now we do."

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