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Kelsi Ostenson, RN, moved to San Diego from Minnesota in 2009 for a position with Sharp Grossmont. She is currently attending University of San Diego for her master’s in leadership of health care organization.
How did you choose to work in the field of disease management?
A few members of my family have diabetes, so I have seen firsthand that tight control can prevent complications of diabetes. I have a passion to ensure each and every patient has the knowledge to manage their medical problems. I would like every patient I work with to feel the best that they possibly can.
What do you do in your role at Sharp-Rees Stealy Disease Management?
I am able to meet with patients and educate about exercise, nutrition and medications. I help patients realize that they are able to take control of their diabetes. It is a rewarding job, and I am excited to come to work every day.
How do you help your patients succeed in managing their chronic disease?
First, the patient needs to have the knowledge of what they need to do, and then they need the support to ensure that it gets done. Small steps are the best way to make changes that stick. One of the most important changes that can be made is to walk. Walking is the most underrated cardiovascular activity and has multiple benefits. Start at 5 minutes a day and work up to 30.
What is the key to self-managing a chronic disease?
Again, small steps are key. Managing diabetes needs to be an everyday action, and you are in charge. Changing many things all at once is not the best way to get long-term results; I am very excited when a patient decides to make a change such as eating smaller portions or taking medications as prescribed. Occasionally everybody gets off track, but the key to success is to not beat yourself up and commit to start fresh.
How do you stay healthy?
Since moving to San Diego, I have started running, and completed my first half marathon in June. Three years ago I could not imagine running farther than 2 miles, but I was able to run farther each week and in a few months was able to run 13.1 miles! I also enjoy being outdoors, hiking, surfing and going for walks.
For More Information
To learn more or to speak with someone to determine if you're eligible to participate in a Sharp Rees-Stealy disease management program, please call 619-446-1571, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
I believe excellent health is an essential ingredient to happiness, which is life's ultimate goal."
1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
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