[caption id="attachment_23291" align="alignright" width="277" caption="Marin General Hospital"][/caption]

GREENBRAE -- Marin General Hospital announced that it will open an outpatient diabetes center next year, funded by a $1 million donation from Kentfield resident Bruce Baden, diagnosed with type I diabetes himself.

The new center, which will be known as the Braden Outpatient Diabetes Center, will be directed by Linda Gaudiani, who was Mr. Baden's physician when he was diagnosed.

The new center will offer a comprehensive program that includes preventive strategies and self-management while connecting patients to a higher level of care, as needed, according to Marin General. Additionally, the hospital will establish a bridge clinic to help patients stabilize their diabetes while transitioning from hospital discharge.

“Marin General Hospital has operated a highly successful, multifaceted inpatient program for diabetes care for more than six years,” said Dr. Gaudiani, who also directs Keys to Control, a hospital program to help treatment of all hospitalized patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia. “The nurses receive specialized training and diabetes champions have been identified throughout the units of the hospital. We’ve created a culture of diabetes awareness from the time the patient registers to the time of discharge."

There is a gap between hospital discharge and the return to community care in which complications and remission often arise, the result of medication changes or new diagnoses, Dr. Gaudiani added. The Braden Outpatient Diabetes Center and the bridge clinic will help "significantly reduce complications and admissions, reduce the time burden for primary physicians and markedly improve patient compliance and satisfactions," she said.

Diabetes diagnoses are significantly increasing nationwide, such that one in five people hospitalized at any given time has the disease, according to the hospital. Diabetic patients account for 22 percent of all inpatient days and are hospitalized three times more frequently than those without diabetes.

Although the incidence in Marin is lower than the national rate, about 7,500 of the county’s roughly 200,000 adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the hospital. Marin General admits about 1,000 patients annually because of diabetes.

In Marin, about 1.5 percent of 18 to 44 year olds, 4.1 percent of those ages 45 to 64 and 8.2 percent of adults older than 65 have diabetes, according to the hospital. Nationally, approximately 8.3 percent of the total population is diabetic, according to the American Diabetes Association.

"It's my chance to make a difference," Mr. Braden said of the new center.

The announcement of the new center Monday was timed for World Diabetes Day.