National Diabetes awareness month
By Chris Erickson
November is the start of the holiday season, and with that has been named the National Diabetes Awareness Month. According to the state health department, diabetes affects nearly 29 million Americans, and an estimated 79 million people are at risk for developing the disease.
Locally, providers at Coal Country Community Health Center are working with members of the public to help address the issues surrounding diabetes in our region, as providing services to help diabetics manage the disease.
According to CCCHC Director of Patient Care & Innovation Chastity Dolbec, the health center’s diabetes prevalence rate was 6.2 percent last year, which was a nearly 23 percent increase from the prevalence rate of five percent in 2011. While that prevalence rate was lower than the state rate of 9.2 percent in 2013 and 8.1 percent in 2011, as well as the national prevalence rates of 12.6 percent and 11.9 percent for those same years, the local increase was markedly higher.
“CCCHC has seen the most significant increase in diabetes prevalence in the past two years when compared to N.D. and national statistics for diabetes prevalence,” Dolbec said. “In order to address the increased prevalence rate of diabetes, CCCHC and Sakakawea Medical Center have obtained recognition with the National Diabetes Prevention Program through Bert Speidel, RN Certified Worksite Wellness Coordinator at SMC and Jean Langeliers, LRD at CCCHC. The National Diabetes Prevention Program teaches participants
strategies for incorporating physical activity into daily life and eating healthy. Lifestyle coaches work with participants to identify emotions and situations that can sabotage their success, and the group process encourages participants to share strategies for dealing with challenging situations to prevent or delay the onset of type II diabetes among people with prediabetes in the U.S.”