July 8, 2005

New clinic to enhance diabetes care options

Featured Image

On hand for the opening of the Vanderbilt-Eskind Diabetes Clinic were, from left, Billy Eskind, Jane Eskind, Dick Eskind, Laurie Eskind, Julie Eskind, Steven Eskind, Annette Eskind, Jeff Eskind, Donna Eskind, David Eskind, Ellen Lehman, Matthew Eskind, Jeremy Lehman and Jon Lehman.
photo by Tommy Lawson

New clinic to enhance diabetes care options

Diabetes care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has entered a new era with the opening of the Vanderbilt-Eskind Diabetes Clinic on the eighth floor of Medical Center East.

The clinic, which opened to patients on June 27, offers comprehensive out-patient care for both adults and children with diabetes, including subspecialty visits, social work, nutrition and allied health services.

“This is an exciting day for diabetes at Vanderbilt and for our patients with diabetes,” said Stephen N. Davis, M.D., director of the Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology. “The best diabetes care is delivered by a multi-disciplinary approach.”

The clinic is named for the late Irwin B. Eskind, M.D., a retired Nashville physician and philanthropist who died in March from complications of diabetes. Its establishment is due largely to the generosity of the Eskind family, said Davis, who also is the Rudolph H. Kampmeier Professor of Medicine.

The clinic is unique. “There's nothing quite like it anywhere,” said Daryl K. Granner, M.D., who directs the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center, part of a network of diabetes research and training centers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“It illustrates the importance of dreaming,” said Granner, who also is the Joe C. Davis Professor of Biomedical Science. “If you don't dream, you can't imagine things outside the box. The trick is to turn dreams into productivity.”

A nationwide search currently is being conducted for an executive director.

Planning for the Vanderbilt-Eskind Diabetes Clinic began five years ago. At the time, Eskind, who chaired the diabetes center board, “immediately saw the beauty of it,” Granner said. “As a diabetic himself, he knew how awkward it is to have to go to five to six clinics to get care.”

Now patients can see physicians from nine different subspecialties in the same place. The clinic also is designed to provide a “seamless transition” from pediatric to adult care for adolescent patients when they turn 18.

“The new clinic permits a major expansion of the Children's Diabetes Program, with dedicated space for diabetes education, including group classes, Child Life specialists, social workers, and dietitians,” added William E. Russell, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics and Cell & Developmental Biology and director of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology.

“The close proximity will make it easier for specialists in pediatric and adult diabetes care to collaborate in clinical care and research and learn from each other.”

The 21,000-square-foot clinic, which features spacious waiting areas and colorful play areas for children, essentially doubles current space at the Medical Center for diabetes services.

Vanderbilt's diabetes programs draws patients from as far away as northern Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, and southern Indiana, and Louisiana. About 40,500 patient visits are logged annually, including 1,550 pediatric visits at the Vanderbilt Cool Springs location.