Dr. Nolan Jones and Nurse Practitioner Shemika Mitchell NP-C cut the ribbon at the entrance of Pinnacle Well Health’s new diabetes management clinic. Looking on at left is Nevin Brittain, health solutions expert. (Kimberly Shelby/L.A. Sentinel)

Pinnacle Well Health Diabetes Management Clinic, a cutting-edge destination for specialized diabetes care, is now open in South L.A. The clinic celebrated its grand opening at the Crenshaw Community Health Center with medical professionals, technologists, local officials, and energized community members on Saturday, June ,8 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

To say that Pinnacle is a welcome addition to the neighborhood would be understating the matter. According to the National Institutes of Health, in the United States, Black adults are nearly twice as likely as white adults to develop type 2 diabetes. Over the last 30 years, that racial disparity only rose. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health reports that Blacks are twice as likely to die from diabetes.

Medical duo Dr. Nolan Jones and nurse practitioner Shemika Mitchell, NP-C, alongside visionary Pinnacle CEO Dr. Steve Lower, are responding to these statistics strategically. On Saturday, the two led Pinnacle’s festive ribbon-cutting surrounded by a dynamic team of professionals, who helped to manifest the vision of an innovative care clinic situated accessibly within—and serving a community disproportionately affected by this chronic disease.

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“This is a dire, serious problem,” said Dr. Jones, who shared that he and a number of his family members have type 2 diabetes. “Historically, inroads have been made [with] treatment in the field of diabetes—it’s not new. Somehow, some way, it hasn’t really come this way, [although it has] in other communities. We know there’s a disparity… But we’re here. And we’re going to make it happen. We’re going to change that.”

Dexter McLeod, Founder and CEO/Chairman of L.A. South Chamber of Commerce, says both the chamber and Pinnacle Well Health are “on a mission to change and save lives.” (Kimberly Shelby/L.A. Sentinel)

Mitchell, who was raised in the area, provided an overview of exactly how she and her colleagues are transforming lives at Pinnacle Well Health.

“We diagnose and treat diabetic neuropathy, the numbness and tingling in your feet that causes people to fall,” she said.

“We diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy, the blurriness in the eyes, that feeling like you have sand in the eyes. Prediabetes. We help you bring your A1C down. And the secret sauce is the advanced insulin infusion.”

Present in the crowd, face aglow, was a patient who, after receiving one of the aforementioned insulin infusions, discovered she had sensation in her toes for the first time in years.

The specialized care offered at Pinnacle Well Health also includes behavioral health assessments, and patients are put on custom care plans using connected devices that enable remote patient monitoring subsequent to their infusions.

Los Angeles County Small Business Commissioner Arnetta Mack emphasized the importance of maintaining good quality of life. (Kimberly Shelby/L.A. Sentinel)

In such cases, Mitchell will prescribe a continuous glucose monitor that connects by way of the skin. It sends data to the cloud so the medical team can monitor the patient’s levels. If glucose levels spike too high or fall too low, the nurses execute a specific protocol to manage the patient, whether that entails notifying the doctor, calling for emergency care, or simply talking the patient through the experience. The resounding crux appears to be that the patient is never alone.

Dr. Lower spoke to the rarity of these offerings in this area.

“The program that we provide is very rarely available here in the state of California,” said Dr. Lower.  “In fact, we were basically told to stay away from the state of California because there are a lot of restrictions here and everything is very expensive – but we liked the idea, as a group, that for the community here, there’s a tremendous need, and maybe we can make an impact.”

 Dexter McLeod, Founder and Chairman/CEO of L.A. South Chamber of Commerce, and Los Angeles County Small Business Commissioner Arnetta Mack, who were also in attendance at the opening, know the impact is multifold. In addition to articulating excitement and support for the program and the patients who will benefit, they congratulated Pinnacle for bringing another business to South L.A.

To learn more about diabetes management and Pinnacle Well Health’s specialized care, call (323) 596-3530.