Methodist Starts New Diabetes Alert Program to Help Drivers, Officers

Published On 06/11/2012

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System allows officers to determine whether drivers are experiencing diabetes-related symptoms rather than intoxication

Methodist Germantown, Methodist University, and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital are the first hospitals in the Mid-South to participate in a new community program designed to help law enforcement officers identify drivers who may be experiencing diabetes-related symptoms. 

“The program was designed to give officers a heads-up about the possibility of diabetes when dealing with certain drivers,” said Kristy Merritt, RN, BSN, CDE, diabetes education coordinator, Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital. “Diabetes-related symptoms often resemble intoxication, so this program is greatly needed to distinguish between them.” 

To participate in the program, patients with diabetes must first obtain a prescription form from their physician identifying them as having diabetes. The prescription can then be submitted to a designated Methodist diabetes treatment center for a special vehicle “Diabetes Alert” sticker to be placed on the lower, inside left corner of the driver’s side rear window. A copy of the prescription will be returned to the patient to be kept in the vehicle at all times to be presented to law enforcement officers as needed. 

Through the program, health officials will also provide area law enforcement officers additional information about diabetes, including information cards that not only clearly identify diabetes-related symptoms but also detail appropriate actions to better protect the health of the individual. 

For more information, call Kristy Merritt at 516-6616.