The Joint Commission rating is a critical milestone for the health system that serves a community with an “epidemic” of diabetes
Willowbrook, Calif. – MLK Community Hospital, a private, non-profit 131-bed facility serving the vulnerable safety-net community of South Los Angeles, is now an “Advanced Disease Specific Certified Inpatient Diabetes Care Hospital” – or, in plainer language, a Diabetes Center of Excellence.
There are only 70 hospitals across the country who have this advanced certification for diabetes, which is awarded after a rigorous review process by the accrediting body, The Joint Commission.
“It means we have the tools and the expertise to prevent and manage diabetes at every level,” says Tammi Boiko, Diabetes Program Director for MLK Community Healthcare, the health system that includes the MLK Community Hospital. “It’s a big win for our community, which has been devastated by diabetes and deprived of quality diabetes care for decades.”
MLKCH achieved a perfect score during the review process, a feat that is even more significant in that it follows a period of time when hospital resources and staff were stretched to the limit during wave after wave of COVID surges.
Certification reflects the hospital’s commitment to put diabetes prevention and management at the center of all patient care, regardless of diagnosis.
“It means our doctors are examining patients for diabetes even if they present for something else,” said Boiko. “It means we’ll be running diabetes-related tests as part of any panel, to ensure that we can identify those patients who are at risk of developing diabetes and help those who may be unaware they have it.”
South LA is ground zero for diabetes in California. In this largely Latino and African American community, you are three times more likely to die from diabetes-related complications than residents elsewhere in the state. Life expectancy, mostly as a result of the community’s epidemic of chronic disease, is ten years shorter. And diabetic amputation is, unfortunately, the most-performed surgery at MLK Community Hospital.
“We want to turn the tide on these terrible numbers and give South LA the quality diabetes care this community deserves,” Boiko says. “I’m proud that MLK Community Hospital is playing a leading role in making this dream a reality.”