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Care Point Health and Wellness Center acquires new diabetes diagnostic tool

Tom Flanigan
The Care Point Center's Anndreia Hartzog Moran holds the Retina Vue optical machine that will be used to check for early signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Type 2 diabetes is widespread in many parts of Tallahassee. Now, the Care Point Health & Wellness Center, run by Big Bend Cares, has a powerful new tool to detect the disease early. The Retina Vue device resembles an overgrown set of binoculars. Big Bend Cares Board Chair Stanley Kahn II said it's a welcome addition to the center's diagnostic toolbox, "to be able to provide retinal scans that can be essential to our diabetic patients here at Care Point."

That means treatments can begin earlier and therefore be more effective. The device was made possible by a grant from the Florida Blue Foundation. Ashley Rousseau, who manages Florida Blue's Tallahassee office, said the whole idea is to expand preventive patient care.

"So we want to make sure they're able to be checked every year to know what those signs and symptoms are and having those things checked before they become a problem."

Diabetes is the leading cause of vision loss among working-age adults and is more common in low-income neighborhoods and people of color. Care Point officials say many of the facility's patients reside in the 32304 zip code, which has a median annual household income of less than $17,000. Approximately one-third of Care Point patients are uninsured.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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