Susquehanna Health Diabetes Event Promotes Awareness and Improved Health

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Susquehanna Health is partnering with the ADA and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania to help increase awareness of diabetes and educate the public in hopes of preventing or delaying the onset of the disease with a Diabetes Alert Day event scheduled Tuesday, March 27 from 10 am to 2 pm at The LifeCenter™ in the Bon-Ton/JCPenney wing of Lycoming Mall, Pennsdale, PA.

Robin Dawson, a health educator and coordinator of The LifeCenter with Susquehanna Health, shares information on lowering cholesterol with a gentleman at The LifeCenter.

By offering screenings, educational programs and important information, we aim to equip members of our local community with the necessary tools to help prevent or control diabetes before permanent and irreversible damage to the body occurs.

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) indicate that about 26 million adults and children in the United States have diabetes, yet one-fourth of those individuals have not been diagnosed. Susquehanna Health is partnering with the ADA and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania to help increase awareness of diabetes and educate the public in hopes of preventing or delaying the onset of the disease with a Diabetes Alert Day event scheduled Tuesday, March 27 from 10 am to 2 pm at The LifeCenter™ in the Bon-Ton/JCPenney wing of Lycoming Mall, Pennsdale, PA.

Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism, a process by which the body uses digested food to create energy. An indicator of prediabetes is when the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood is too high. A high level of blood sugar (hyperglycemia) means the pancreas is not producing enough insulin to enable cells to absorb blood sugar and convert it into energy. Complications of diabetes can include amputation, blindness, diseases of the heart and kidneys, stroke and even death. The good news is that according to ADA studies, type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented through good nutrition, regular exercise and weight loss. Individuals at high risk for diabetes include those who are over age 45, overweight, not physically active and those who have a family history of the disease.

“In the region we serve,” says Susquehanna Health Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Kathryn McKernan Patetta, “2008 statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control show that on average, 9.4 percent of our adult population have diabetes and an average of 29 percent are overweight.” The purpose of the Diabetes Alert Day event, which is held nationally on the fourth Tuesday in March, is to encourage individuals to take a diabetes risk assessment to understand their risk for developing the disease. This free test, comprised of questions regarding age, family history and weight, will be offered at the March 27 event at The LifeCenter™.

Additional free screenings offered include blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, BMI (body mass index), glucose, total cholesterol and foot screenings. Appointments are needed for A1C testing and complete lipid panels, which will be provided for a reduced fee. The Diabetes Alert Day event at The LifeCenter™ will also include three, free educational sessions: Cholesterol Education, Linda Spurr, RN, Pennsylvania Department of Health; Eating Healthy to Prevent and Manage Diabetes with MyPlate, Kathryn McKernan Patetta, RD, CDE, Susquehanna Health; CPR Anytime, Becky Lewis, RN, Pennsylvania Department of Health. This is the fifth consecutive year that Diabetes Alert Day has been celebrated at The LifeCenter™.

“Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to kidney failure, vision loss, amputations and a host of other medical problems, but these are not inevitable. Individuals with diabetes do have control,” says SH Health Educator and LifeCenter™ Coordinator Robin Dawson. “By offering screenings, educational programs and important information, we aim to equip members of our local community with the necessary tools to help prevent or control diabetes before permanent and irreversible damage to the body occurs.” According to Dawson, learning about personal risk factors and making simple lifestyle changes can go a long way toward reducing the risk for developing diabetes and complications from uncontrolled diabetes.   

Certified diabetes educators with Susquehanna Health’s Diabetes & Nutrition Care Center, located on the Divine Providence Hospital campus, provide nutrition counseling and coaching to individuals who are at risk for or have been diagnosed with diabetes. The Center is credentialed by the ADA and led by Endocrinologist Dr. Margrit Shoemaker. The goals of the Diabetes & Nutrition Care Center are to help individuals with diabetes live active and fulfilling lives and to educate the public about the relationship between eating healthy food a leading a healthy life. For more information on Susquehanna Health’s Diabetes & Nutrition Care Center or Diabetes Alert Day event, visit SusquehannaHealth.org. To register for Diabetes Alert Day educational sessions and health screenings, please call 1-877-883-4791.

About Susquehanna Health
Susquehanna Health is a three-hospital integrated health system including Divine Providence Hospital, Muncy Valley Hospital and Williamsport Regional Medical Center located in northcentral Pennsylvania. Serving patients from an 11-county region, Susquehanna Health is a healthcare leader and has been recognized at the national and state levels for quality of care. Susquehanna Health offers a wide array of services that include cancer treatment, heart and vascular care/heart surgery, neurosciences including neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, OB/GYN, gastrointestinal services, behavioral health, physical rehabilitation, home care, long term care, assisted living and paramedic/ambulance services.

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Gwynne Kinley
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