Education Services

Contact Us

Seattle and Issaquah

Phone: 206-215-2440


Phone: 425-640-4395

In-person classes and support groups canceled

Swedish cares about the health and well-being of our patients, caregivers and community. In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) public health emergency, the risk for exposure is increasing for people who live in our state. Swedish is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our facilities and our ability to care for as many patients as possible. Safety is our top priority right now.

Effective Thursday, March 12 at noon, all in-person classes and support groups have been suspended at each of our hospital campuses until COVID-19 no longer poses a threat or until further notice. Our knowledge of COVID-19 is still rapidly evolving and will continue to share updates on this page as the situation develops.

The Swedish Diabetes Education Program offers a variety of classes in Seattle, Edmonds and Issaquah. All classes are taught in English; interpreters are available for individual sessions. 

Class schedules, maps and directions 

An experienced teaching team

The diabetes program at the Swedish Bariatric, Metabolic and Endocrine Center is recognized by the American Diabetes Association. All providers are either Registered Nurses (RN) and/or Registered Dietitians (RD) that are Certified Diabetes Educators.

Register for a class

Preregistration is required for all classes. Please call us to register for Seattle and Issaquah classes at 206-215-2440, and Edmonds classes at 425-640-4395. Class dates and times will be confirmed when you register. 

You will need a referral from your physician that includes clinical information about your diabetes; this will help us in billing your insurance company. Ask your physician to fax in a referral or send it electronically.

Insurance coverage

Medicare typically pays for diabetes classes, but they may not cover individual appointments. Private insurance companies vary in coverage, but almost all will cover classes for diabetes education. We encourage patients to verify insurance coverage prior to signing up for the classes.

Diabetes Education "Steps" class series

This is a series of three classes taught over three subsequent weeks. The classes are informative, interactive, and beneficial for anyone with Type 2 diabetes. They are designed to empower people with diabetes with the skills and knowledge to self-manage their condition and improve their quality of life. 

The classes provide a comprehensive overview of diabetes and ways to manage it. They are ideal for those who are recently diagnosed with diabetes, or who have had it for a while and need a "refresher." 

First Steps

Taught by both a RN and RD, both of which are CDE’s. Topics include the physiology of diabetes, along with blood glucose monitoring and understanding what the numbers mean. The RD covers basic nutrition principles and an overview of carbohydrates in foods, how different foods affect the blood glucose and how to use this information in planning daily meals.

Second Steps

Taught by the RD. Building upon the topics discussed in First Steps, the discussion focuses on advanced nutrition topics including: portion control, increasing fiber, eating out strategies, and heart healthy nutrition. There will also be a discussion on how to identify and treat high or low blood sugars, sick day management, and problem solving skills.

Third Steps

Taught by the RN and an endocrinologist. The endocrinologist presents strategies for staying healthy and preventing complications. The RN explains medications for diabetes and their usage, approaches for long term health maintenance, foot care and ways to set goals and stay on track. 

Gestational diabetes class

A series of three classes that teaches women with gestational diabetes how to manage their blood sugar during pregnancy. The classes offer strategies to delay or prevent developing diabetes in the future:

  • First session:  Participants learn about the physiology of gestational diabetes, why we are concerned about high blood sugars and how to manage with nutrition. Participants also learn how to use a home blood glucose monitor. 
  • Second session: Held about one week after the first session. The class reviews nutrition management and how the testing of blood sugars went for the past week.  
  • Third session: Held 6-12 weeks post-delivery. This class discusses strategies for healthy eating for the patient and family, importance of activity in life and how to manage concerns for developing diabetes later in life. 

Insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring classes

Introduction to insulin pumps

A one-hour session with a diabetes educator that introduces an interested patient to the features of insulin pump therapy. Information and materials are provided for the patient who is deciding whether insulin-pump therapy is right for them.

Insulin pump start  

A series of sessions that teaches the patient how use an insulin pump and how to manage diabetes using a pump.

Insulin pump assessment

This session a diabetes educator will evaluate the participant’s current pump practices and settings. Updates on the latest insulin pump advancements will be provided. This is recommended at least yearly for all insulin pump users.

Continuous glucose monitoring (sensor): personal

This session will help the participant that is interested in obtaining a glucose monitor learn what the options are and assist in the process to obtain one. Another session will be scheduled to learn how to use a sensor when it is obtained. 

Continuous glucose monitoring (sensor): professional

Two sessions that a physician would advise to get a more intensive look at blood glucose values:

  • First session: Sensor is applied and instructions are given on its use.
  • Second session: Download of information is done and reviewed.

Pre-diabetes class

Taught by a nutrition educator this class focuses on lifestyle management and risk factor modification. This class will help you understand your risk factors and learn how to lower your risk of developing diabetes later in life. This is a community education class. The cost to register is $20. Register at or over the phone at 800-793-3474.

Medical nutrition therapy

A session with the nutrition educator. Besides diabetes a nutrition educator can help you with weight loss, bowel problems and cholesterol and salt management. If you feel this would be beneficial to you ask your physician to see a nutrition educator. They are located in Ballard, First Hill, Issaquah and Edmonds. Ask your insurance provider about coverage for medical nutrition therapy.