This is part of a weekly series that highlights a grant provided by the Foundation.
According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 1 in 12 Americans currently has diabetes, and 1 in 3 Americans born in 2000 or later will have diabetes by the time they’re 65 years old.
Susan Trainor, President of People Centre’d on Diabetes, and also a diabetes Nurse Practitioner at the Mount Nittany Physician Group, says this is partly because of a lack of awareness of how to prevent and treat the disease.
“When people either don’t know they have diabetes or don’t understand it, they can’t do the things they need to do to be as healthy as they can be. The person who has diabetes has to do a lot to take care of their disease and not knowing or not understanding gets in the way of good disease control,” Trainor said. “The key to doing well with diabetes is early diagnosis and early treatment.”
Through its Diabetes Speakers Bureau, which is supported by a grant from the Centre County Community Foundation, People Centre’d on Diabetes is hoping to change people’s attitudes about diabetes.
The group is holding free presentations in which a community member who is successfully managing their diabetes speaks about their experience alongside a medical professional, who is there to provide attendees with accurate, up-to-date medical information about diabetes. Before the presentation, people fill out a questionnaire and if they score as high-risk for diabetes, they can get a free diabetes screening, courtesy of Mount Nittany Medical Center.
The first talk was given a few months ago by Nurse Practitioner Jane McDowell, and Lydia Abdullah, a member of the Board of Directors for PCOD and former member of the Board of Directors for the Centre County Community Foundation, who has diabetes. They spoke to more than 20 people from the Rotary Club.
The next presentation will be given to the Sight Loss Support Group of Central PA, on Thursday, Oct. 20. Trainor said the response to the first presentation was very positive, and the group is working to schedule more presentations in the future, so that more people can learn about how to go about preventing, treating and living with diabetes.
“We’re hoping people who are living with diabetes will be empowered by listening to people who are doing well with the disease,” Trainor said. “We’re hoping people will find better ways to take care of themselves, and we’re hoping people who are at risk will get early diagnosis and treatment.”
Check out PCOD’s website for more info on the organization and its speaker series, and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in having PCOD speak to your organization about diabetes.