Hilo, Hawaii – February 2 marked the first day of class for students enrolled in Hilo Medical Center’s 10-week community outreach program called Diabetes in Control. Participants meet every Wednesday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the hospital to learn how to manage diabetes by improving nutrition, exercise and personal habits.
“My hope is to conquer diabetes,” said Priscilla Sampaia. “My mom was diabetic for 50 years, went completely blind and died from it. Now my brother and I are living with diabetes.”
“When I was told I had cancer, it didn’t bother me, but when I was told I had diabetes, I lost it,” said recently diagnosed Patricia Kamau, whose daughter-in-law told her about the program. “I have seen what diabetes can do. So many of my friends died from it and I know what can happen if I don’t take care of myself.”
“Those who have diabetes can live well and without complications by keeping blood sugar in control,” assured HMC’s Diabetes in Control program coordinator, Certified Diabetes Educator Becky Stubbs. “Improving diabetes control begins with learning about the condition. Life-long success is better achieved through ongoing information and support from knowledgeable experts.”
Stubbs has assembled her team of experts to include Hilo Medical Center’s Food and Nutrition Services Manager Naomi Bartholomew, Physical Therapy Department Manager Marti Banks, Certified Wound Care Specialist John Stowell, Case Manager Nora Waters, Registered Pharmacist Diane Saito; and the Hawaii Island Family Health Center’s Nurse Practitioner Megan Lewis.
Last year, Hilo Medical Center formed the Diabetes Taskforce to set up Diabetes in Control. Stubbs hopes this inaugural class will provide momentum for the future.
“We are laying the groundwork on Diabetes in Control to be able to offer the community an accredited program and establish a referral system with local physicians and insurance companies,” said Stubbs. “Right now, many people fly to Oahu for diabetes education. Offering this service right here in Hilo would save our community time and money.”
The class has continuous open enrollment. Participants can start at any point in the 10-week course. For more information, contact Becky Stubbs at 933-0743.