A specially designed treatment center for diabetes patients has opened at HCA St. Mark's Hospital.

The 17-bed facility operated by Diabetes Treatment Centers of America offers comprehensive medical treatment and an education program of self-management skills, lifestyle changes and health maintenance for persons with diabetes."It is quite possible that two percent of the people in Salt Lake City have diabetes, although only half of them are aware of their condition," said Jay Lighthall, program director. "Although diabetes is an incurable disease, we believe it can be controlled through blood sugar monitoring, education, diet, exercise and counseling."

The center offers acute inpatient care, after care, outpatient classes and outpatient consultations. All programs require physician referral and are administered by an individual's physician and the center's multi-disciplinary team - a nurse educator, dietitian, counselor, exercise specialist, program manager and specifically trained staff nurses.

"We think we offer the best environment and one of the most comprehensive diabetes treatment and education programs available to help persons with diabetes lead productive lives," Lighthall said.