Bartlesville Woman Recommends Diabetes Education Program offered by Oklahoma Heart Institute, Hillcrest Medical Center

Sandra Tinker was in her mid-40s when she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

“It was a surprise, although I knew it ran on both sides of my family,” Tinker said. “I just never thought about it.”

Prior to her diagnosis, Tinker was always tired and had little energy.

“I wanted to sleep all of the time,” Tinker said. “My doctor took a blood sugar test and that’s when I learned I was diabetic.”

Following her diagnosis, Tinker continued to receive care from her primary care provider, until she sought out an endocrinologist in the Tulsa area.

Tinker felt the difference in care for her diabetes, when comparing her visits between her primary care doctor and endocrinologist.

“I still really didn’t know a lot about the disease and didn’t know what kind of questions to ask.”

When it was time to look for a new endocrinologist, her daughter recommended she schedule an appointment with Cristin Bruns, M.D., endocrinologist with Oklahoma Heart Institute. The endocrinology group at Oklahoma Heart Institute has collaborated with the Hillcrest Center for Diabetes Management and now offers a comprehensive diabetes program.

Tinker was soon introduced to Bruns and her staff, as well as a registered dietitian. Her journey with the diabetes education program began in November 2018.

“I was very impressed and still am,” Tinker said. “Dr. Bruns and her staff are so very nice. They just seem so interested in the patient.”

The program aims to help patients learn the skills they need to take control of their diabetes and live healthier lives.

“It is so comprehensive and encompasses all aspects of being a diabetic,” Tinker said. “They really make sure you understand the disease, including the changes that can happen as you get older. It’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t have the information you need to be successful with your diabetes, especially when you can’t keep your numbers down.”

Tinker’s health has tremendously improved since beginning the program.

“I managed to get my blood sugar down to 5.8, which I had not seen for years and years,” Tinker said.

An issue with her kidneys has also disappeared, with the help of Bruns and her staff.

Tinker encourages individuals with diabetes who are solely working with their primary care provider to give the diabetes program a chance.

“I feel like the people I have talked to with the disease are not getting the education or the medications needed to control their diabetes, so I try to spread the word about the program,” Tinker said. “I am very well taken cared of.”


Oklahoma Heart Institute currently offers next day endocrinology appointments. Please call 918-592-0999 to schedule an appointment. For more information on the comprehensive diabetes program and how to get scheduled, please call 918-579-3385.