Timberline Medical course empowers people with diabetes to take control of their health

Six-week class incorporates knowledge, tools, peer support
Aug. 27, 2014

Media contact: Kelly Tracer 970.237.7114 or Kelly.Tracer@UCHealth.org
ESTES PARK, Colo. – Through a free, six-week course, UCHealth Primary Care Clinic – Estes Park is helping people with diabetes take control of their health.

The Living Well with Diabetes course is designed for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and is geared to help them feel more comfortable with managing their condition. Participants will learn goal setting, problem solving and tools to help them prevent or delay serious complications of diabetes.

The course will be held from 2-4:30 p.m. every Tuesday from Sept. 16 through Oct. 21 in the Wasson Room at Estes Valley Library, 335 E. Elkhorn Ave. in Estes Park.

Space is limited. To register or for more information, call the clinic at 970.586.2343.

Dr. Paul Fonken, the medical director of Timberline Medical, has been caring for patients in Estes Park since 1990. He recommends the Living Well with Diabetes course to anyone with diabetes that is not under ideal control.

This program, which was developed at Stanford University, is effective because it incorporates a strong peer support element and enough time for participants to gain more in-depth knowledge and the tools to improve their health, according to Dr. Fonken.

The course will be facilitated by University of Colorado Health educators Katrina Plassmeyer and Susan Milligan.

A registered nurse and nurse practitioner, Plassmeyer recently joined the Timberline Medical team as the clinic’s new care manager. In her role, she will be helping people with chronic conditions – everything from diabetes and high blood pressure to high cholesterol and migraines – to get the knowledge, tools and support they need to get well and stay well.

“Living with a chronic illness can sometimes feel as if you are not in control of your life or your situation,” Plassmeyer said. “This class will help people feel as if they are in control and that they have the influence on a positive outcome.”


  • What: Living Well with Diabetes presented by Timberline Medical, a University of Colorado Health clinic.
  • When: 2-4:30 p.m. every Tuesday from Sept. 16 through Oct. 21.
  • Where: Estes Valley Library, 335 E. Elkhorn Ave., Estes Park.
  • To register: Call 970.586.2343.
  • Note: This course does not replace services provided by diabetes educators.


  • 9.3: Percentage of Americans who have diabetes.
  • 27.8: Percentage of Americans with diabetes who have not been diagnosed.
  • $176 billion: Estimated direct medical costs of diabetes in the United States in 2012.
  • $69 billion: Estimated indirect (disability, work loss, premature death) of diabetes in the United States in 2012.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

About UCHealth

University of Colorado Health is a Front Range health system that delivers the highest quality patient care with the highest quality patient experience. University of Colorado Health combines Memorial Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, University of Colorado Hospital and a network of more than 40 medical clinics into one organization dedicated to health and providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. Separately, these institutions can continue providing superior care to patients and service to the communities they serve. Together, they push the boundaries of medicine, attracting more research funding, hosting more clinical trials and improving health through innovation.

About the author

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. With 24,000 employees, UCHealth includes 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.