KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," 2/27/11, 7:30 AM & KTTU "In Focus," 3/6/11, 10:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Sandra Leal, PharmD, CEE, Clinical Pharmacist, El Rio Community Health Center. Leal was recently honored by the U of A College of Pharmacy with the Danny & Rae Jacob Award for her high pharmacy practice standards and community service. She is the first pharmacist in the State to achieve a collaborative practice permit from the Arizona Board of Pharmacy. Under this permit, she completes physical assessments, provides patient education and adjusts medication therapy under limited prescription authority for people with diabetes. 

Leal says there are approximately 5,000 diabetes patients being treated at the Center. She says she is seeing more and more young people—teenagers—with “pre-diabetic” conditions. She says these include being overweight and with above normal blood sugar levels. She says with early intervention, it is possible to effectively manage the disease without further complications.
 
Leal says treatment for pre-diabetes consists of losing a modest amount of weight (5-10 percent of total body weight) through diet modification and moderate exercise, such as walking, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. She says a loss of just 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference. She says with pre-diabetes, a person is at a 50 percent increased risk for heart disease or stroke, so medication to lower cholesterol levels may also be recommended.