The $28 million Texas Diabetes Institute (TDI) was built in response to the alarming prevalence of diabetes in San Antonio and South Texas. The 153,000 square-foot comprehensive and community-based center aims to become the national model for diabetes treatment, education and research.
“Our main focus on Type 2 diabetes makes TDI unique among US diabetes centers which mainly deal with type 1 diabetes,” said Ralph A. DeFronzo, MD, the deputy director at TDI and one of the nation’s leading diabetes researchers. Apart from the center’s focus on education and treatment, DeFronzo says TDI researchers also hope to find a cure for diabetes through clinical and basic research.
TDI will allow for a continuum of care including early prevention, patient education, routine treatment, research, and state-wide professional and physician training. The range of services include primary-care medicine, endocrinology, podiatry, ophthalmology and rehabilitation medicine. The facility also has a wound care clinic, as well as a 12,000 square-foot kidney dialysis clinic. More than 7,000 square feet of TDI is allocated for diabetes clinical research.
“The Institute is one of the largest centers in the nation dedicated to the treatment of diabetes,” says Melissa Welch, public relations coordinator for University Health System. Terri De La Haya, MPH, RN, vice president for the University Center for Community Health, the home of TDI, adds that a patient with diabetes can find all of the disciplines for diabetes treatment under one roof.
San Antonio has approximately 125,000 residents with diabetes, both diagnosed and undiagnosed.
“The site,” says De La Haya, “was selected so we can better serve a [Hispanic] population which has two to three times the incidence of diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.”
All services and outreach programs at TDI will be available in English and Spanish.