Event is April 20 at HealthWorks

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The nationally recognized West Virginia University Hospitals (WVUH) Diabetes Education Center extends an invitation to the local community to attend a Diabetes Health Fair Wednesday, April 20 at HealthWorks Rehab and Fitness on Maple Drive in Morgantown.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., participants can receive glucose tests and have their vision, eye pressure and blood pressure checked. The WVU Extension Service will also be on hand to provide dietary tips through its Dining with Diabetes program. Specialists will be available to address foot care, footwear and kidney health.

“Our primary goal is to teach people with diabetes the importance of lifelong diabetes care,” Vicki Chase, R.N., diabetes education coordinator with WVUH’s Diabetes Education Center, said. “With good control of blood sugars, meal and activity plans, medication and lifestyle choices, many diabetes-related complications can be prevented.”

Research has shown that 23.6 million Americans have diabetes, while an estimated 17.9 million have been diagnosed with the disease. It is estimated that more than 250,000 West Virginians are currently living with diabetes, however, close to 85,500 go through their lives undiagnosed.  Many people are unaware that they may have diabetes or could possibly have a condition called “pre-diabetes.”

With national and local rates this high, Chase believes that diabetes education and prevention should be a priority. "It’s estimated that a person has diabetes for six years before seeking medical care,” she said. “A tremendous amount of damage can occur during that time.”

The staff at the WVUH Diabetes Education Center cares for about 450 diabetes patients – kids and adults – each month. They range from the recently diagnosed to those who need a refresher course.

In 2010, the American Diabetes Association presented the WVUH Diabetes Education Center with a recognition certificate for quality diabetes self-management education programs. The program was originally recognized in June 2004.

To learn more about the Center, including its Diabetes Support Group and Diabetes Education Classes, call 304-598-4391.

For more information: Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
jy: 04-06-11