Charlene Albrecht, senior executive assistant and a Cone Health employee of 12 years, had her first experience with type 2 diabetes (T2D) 26 years ago. She was pregnant with her first daughter when her doctor diagnosed her with gestational diabetes. It is not uncommon for women with gestational diabetes to give birth to larger babies, and Charlene’s daughter was no exception. Her beautiful baby girl was born at 9.5 pounds and loved snuggling in for a full eight hours of sleep from day one! Charlene went on to have another healthy daughter, and following each pregnancy her blood sugar numbers fluctuated. Charlene was always on the edge of a T2D diagnosis.
In 2014, Charlene was officially diagnosed with T2D and prescribed medication. She was reluctant to accept the diagnosis and felt overwhelmed. Like many type 2 diabetics, Charlene did not feel engaged or accountable for her health. As such, she did not take her treatment seriously, which left her vulnerable to the dangerous side effects of uncontrolled diabetes. Charlene knew she needed to check blood sugars twice a day, but never did because she didn’t understand the value in monitoring her numbers. She tried different wellness programs with hopes one would help her manage her condition, but never followed the routine or the diet. With a job requiring lots of sitting and a family history of T2D, poor health seemed inevitable and she felt little motivation to make changes.
When Charlene heard about Wellsmith, a new program available to Cone Health employees, in early 2018, her T2D was still unmanaged and her general health and wellness continued to decline. She decided it was time to try yet another wellness program. This one was different from the ones she tried in the past. Wellsmith is a digital health management app with a personalized care plan connected to a Bluetooth glucometer, scale, and activity tracker.
Using Wellsmith, Charlene was able to track her health progress and receive guidance on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Wellsmith transformed the way Charlene manages her T2D – she no longer skips her glucose readings, and she is engaged in her journey toward better health! The simple, daily reminders on how to manage her health make Charlene feel empowered and accountable to live healthily. As she began to regularly check her glucose, Charlene quickly understood what foods were affecting her blood sugars the most. It was time for a change: She stopped eating fast food completely and no longer allows sweets in her house.
After seven months with Wellsmith, the ripple effect of her healthy choices continues, and Charlene has dropped 13 pounds! In March, Charlene’s A1c was 10.4, but staying consistent and committed to her Wellsmith care plan has helped her lower that number to 7.
“I am more motivated and more active than before, taking walks just about every day,” says Charlene. As for her long-term goals? “I hope to lose more weight, become healthier and eventually come off all the medication.”
Charlene believes Wellsmith can help other Type 2 Diabetics who are struggling to manage their condition. She hopes her story will encourage others to join Wellsmith.
“You can learn how to take control of your health and make better choices.”
Could Wellsmith help you or your T2D dependent live a healthier lifestyle? We believe so. Qualified participants on Wellsmith receive a Bluetooth glucometer, scale, and activity tracker as an additional benefit of your participation in the Cone Health employee benefit program. Joining Wellsmith also means reduced medication costs, and the opportunity to earn the Live Life Well Weight Smart Badge.
This simple and actionable health management program provides a dedicated Care Team, and the real-time support and guidance you need to take control of your T2D. Are you ready to transform your health? Sign up at Wellsmith.com/ConeEmployee.