UTHSC doctor volunteers time in fight against diabetes
Pleasanton residents with diabetes have another ally in the fight against the deadly disease — Dr. Darlene Gilcreast. Dr. Gilcreast, certified diabetes educator and assistant professor of chronic nursing care at the Health Science Center, is helping the staff at the Atascosa Rural Health Clinic, a non-profit Chicano Health Initiative Rural Clinic, to improve services to patients with diabetes mellitus.
Dr. Gilcreast volunteers her time to inspect patients' feet for fungal infections, ingrown toenails, lesions, loss of sensation and poor circulation. When she discovers lesions, she immediately refers the patient to the clinic doctors for treatment. She works with the bilingual nursing staff to ensure that patients understand the importance of diabetes education and treatment. In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Gilcreast provides workshops for the clinic's nursing staff on how to teach patients about diabetes self-care and management.
Dr. Gilcreast has 10 years of experience in educating patients with diabetes. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at San Francisco. The topic of her dissertation was "Assessing the value of using a transcutaneous electrical stimulator to improve blood flow in the feet of people with diabetes who have, or are at risk for, foot ulcers." She has received more than $1.5 million to conduct her research studies on various topics.