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Community Health Center Making Impact in Lives of Diabetic Patients


TUSTIN, Calif., November 1, 2021 – Community health centers across the country play a vital role in managing the care of the more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes. For those without medical insurance or who are lower income, community health centers are sometimes the only way patients can manage their diabetes with a doctor. 

It can be a challenge to keep up routine care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, and community health centers like the nonprofit Families Together of Orange County bridge that gap by helping people in the community overcome obstacles such as transportation and language barriers. 

In honor of American Diabetes Awareness Month, Families Together of Orange County is proud to highlight two diabetic patient success stories. 

After living with diabetes for several years, Jose Cerda and Mahmoud Amini Rasht, started using the Wellness Center at Families Together to make lifestyle changes that has led to a turning point on their diabetes journey. 

Jose Cerda, a 46-year-old father of two who had been living with Type 2 Diabetes for 6 years, was referred to Families Together of Orange County earlier this year. After an assessment with a primary care physician, he was referred to the Wellness Center at FTOC  to help manage his diabetes with personal training sessions. After only a few months training with personal trainer Chris Henderson, Cerda says that he has undergone major life changes:

“I don’t have medical insurance so I never thought that I would be able to afford a trainer, let alone one that would give me one-on-one attention. I didn’t know much about exercise before this, nor did I realize how much of an impact it can have on my diabetes. I’ve been able to see and feel results. The program has helped keep my sugar levels in check and has motivated me to live a healthier lifestyle by giving me the tools and education that I never had before.”

Mahmoud Amini Rasht discovered Families Together after searching for an affordable medical center that provided services in his native language. After seeing that his sugar levels were increasing, the Families Together physician referred Mahmoud to the Wellness Center for Nutrition Services as part of his diabetic care. After more than a year as a patient, Mahmoud says:

“I’ve seen my sugar levels and my weight decrease from changing the way I eat. I couldn’t have done that without the help of the Nutrition program at Families Together. I learned so much about food that I had no clue about before. I was given food plans that were created specifically for me and my condition, which I never thought would be possible. The fact that this program is integrated with my primary care physician is great because the doctor and the nutritionist work hand-in-hand to manage my care.”

Dr. Schwartz, Associate Medical Director for Families Together of Orange County, says that it’s essential to provide a combination of resources to diabetic patients:

“While it’s important for diabetic patients to keep their sugar levels in check with their doctor and regularly visit their PCP, our approach at Families Together is to integrate that care with lifestyle changes such as nutrition and exercise. That’s the purpose of the Wellness Center for all of our patients, to educate the patients and help prevent future health issues.”

Families Together of Orange County provides an array of affordable quality health services including medical, dental, vision, behavioral health and wellness with locations in Tustin and Garden Grove, California.

About Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center

Since 2003, Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center (FTOC) has proudly served the Orange County community with a myriad of health services while providing a welcoming, multi-lingual and patient – centered medical home to all. FTOC is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, FQHC look-alike, a member of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers and the California Primary Care Association.

Please visit www.familiestogetheroc.org for more information on Families Together of Orange County and for the latest updates.


For interview requests and further information, please contact Cassie Rossel