People diagnosed with diabetes must stay vigilant about monitoring and regulating their blood sugar levels – their bodies can’t do it automatically. That’s why Knox County Health Department (KCHD) offers the only free series of classes on diabetes management three times a year. The next series of classes will be on Thursdays, April 25 and May 2, 9, 16, 23. Classes are from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Knox County Health Department auditorium, 140 Dameron Avenue. Along with information and skills necessary to optimally manage diabetes, attendees will receive a light diabetic-friendly meal. Parking is free and convenient. Anyone interested should call 215-5170 to reserve a meal. Please note: This is a series of classes meeting for five consecutive Thursdays, not a single class to attend.
Day-to-day diabetes management is confusing and frustrating for many people. KCHD’s Diabetes Management series is structured to provide a broad scope for managing the disease to help prevent the destructive consequences through proper diet, medication, stress management and exercise. Individuals diagnosed as pre-diabetic or who have diabetes are encouraged to attend.
“The Diabetes Management Series offers tools to help keep those diagnosed with diabetes educated with the latest information on how to manage the disease,” said Susan Fowlkes, KCHD dietitian who oversees the program. “We want to give community members the information they need so they can be successful in taking charge of their health.”
With nearly ten percent of Knox County adults reporting a diagnosis, it is a significant health concern in Knox County. However, some in our community are experiencing greater challenges with this illness. According to the Knox County Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011, the prevalence of diabetes among Knox County adults who earn $25,000-$34,999 is more than twice that of those who earn more than $50,000 (12.4 percent vs. 5.3 percent), and Knox County adults earning less than $15,000 are nearly five times as likely to have diabetes as those who earn more than $50,000 (24.4 percent vs. 5.3 percent). KCHD hopes to reduce barriers for people with limited income by offering this diabetes management series free of charge.
Knox County Health Department’s initiatives through the Comprehensive Approach to Reducing Diabetes (CARD) Program directly address reducing diabetes rates and include programs such as the tri-yearly diabetes management class series; the Nutrition Education Activity Training (NEAT) after school program; mini-grants for local businesses and child care facilities to improve diet and physical activity; and a walking school bus pilot project. The CARD Program is funded through an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Health.