There was no mistaking it. It was a wake-up call. Four years after being diagnosed with diabetes and starting insulin therapy, Romaine Chase-Bobbittís blood glucose levels were completely out of control: nearly 600. Doctors said she could easily go into a diabetic coma. It was clear she needed new tools to manage this life-threatening disease. She found those tools at the Joslin Center for Diabetes at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Marylandís Joslin Center opened its doors in March 1998. It is affiliated with the Joslin Center for Diabetes in Boston, founded one hundred years ago by Dr. Elliott Joslin, one of the first doctors to treat diabetes patients with insulin, and an early believer that controlling blood sugar would be beneficial to diabetes patients. The Joslin Center in Baltimore is the first affiliate in the mid-Atlantic region. Within a year after its opening, more than five thousand men, women, and children with diabetes sought treatment here. Thatís double the number expected by the centerís administrator, Dale Willing. While many were referred by their family physicians, the majority of patients who have come to the Joslin Center have done so because they heard about the centerís unique and individualized approach to the care of diabetes.
By Deborah Stone