The Diabetes Program is excited to update you on some of our new and ongoing diabetes control and prevention activities. The following is a brief description of each of our activities. All community members are invited, and you do not have to be diagnosed with diabetes to participate (PREVENTION is the key). We would also love to hear YOUR ideas for future activity planning.
Prevention in the Community
To prevent diabetes, we must focus on Native American families and the community. Through screening efforts, we identify people with risk factors such as family history of diabetes, obesity, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and gestational diabetes. Other risk factors include, physical inactivity, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and stress. You may see us at community events such as Pow Wows, Health Fairs, and Wellness Conferences providing screening, health literature, and trying to raise awareness about diabetes risk factors.
Diabetes and Cardiovascular Screening
This includes a blood sugar analysis, body mass index, lipid profile, blood pressure, and a thorough analysis of risk factors through completion of our lifestyle survey. You will be provided with feedback regarding your risk factors, diabetes prevention education, and referrals will be provided if needed.
Each Indian Health Clinic has a special day reserved each month for patients with diabetes. This is called “Diabetes Clinic.” The purpose of having Diabetes Clinic is to provide our patients with what we call “one-stop shopping.” The entire Diabetes Team is available to meet with you to help you manage your diabetes better. This means, you can see your primary care doctor, plus the podiatrist, optometrist, registered dietitian, fitness specialist, tobacco educator, and even a psychologist. If you’ve got the time, you can see the whole team if needed. We have found this to be convenient for most of our patients who don’t want to make several appointments on different dates and times. Breakfast and/or snacks are provided in case you are fasting (or just hungry!)
Diabetes Education Classes
We have several types of classes offered including 1) Diabetes Education, 2) Diabetes Prevention Education, 3) Healthy Heart, and 4) Byetta classes. You will learn about diabetes physiology, how to monitor your blood sugars, and how to recognize symptoms of low or high blood sugars. You will learn how to control your blood sugars and prevent diabetes-related complications through medications and by making healthy lifestyle changes (physical activity, healthy dietary choices, and through mental wellbeing). A healthy lunch, educational materials, and prizes are always provided.
Private nutrition counseling is available to help you with individualized meal plans, problem solving, and reinforcement of healthy dietary changes. This is ideal for essentially all diabetes- and cardiovascular-related health issues, and will help you with weight loss, blood sugar control, kidney health, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and much more!
Healthy Heart Project
In 2004, Congress funded the Indian Health Service to provide grants to selected programs to implement activities to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in Native Americans with diabetes. The goals of the Healthy Heart Project is to improve 1) blood sugars, 2) blood pressure, 3) cholesterol, 4) weight, 5) physical fitness, 6) smoking cessation, and 7) use of aspirin.
We launched the Healthy Heart Project in late 2005, and will be continuing until 2009. You may be eligible to join if you are 1) American Indian, 2) 18 years of age or older, 3) have diabetes, and 4) are able to participate in the project activities. You can find out more information by contacting the Diabetes Program staff. We look forward to signing you up!
Retinopathy screening for diabetes-related vision loss is available at all DM clinics, conferences, and outreach events.
The Diabetes Program Fitness Specialist continues to build the “Habit 4 Health” program. At present, she has several varieties of fitness activities including resistance training, low-impact aerobic, chair aerobics, and individualized training (see below for details).
1. Resistance Circuit training is provided at Soboba twice per week and includes a 15-minute workout with a warm-up, 8 work-out sessions, and a cool down. Two resistance classes are offered.
2. Aeroquick is a 15-minute aerobic class offered at Soboba twice per week.
3. Chair Aerobics (“Habit 4 Health – Lite”) that was at the Morongo Senior Center will be relocated to the Beaumont office. This class is designed for adults and elders to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility.
4. By request, the Habit-4-Health – TLC, which stands for Total Lifestyle Change, has been changed to a “Body Toning” class. This class is on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (5:15 to 6:00pm) at the Morongo Tribal Hall.
5. The Fitness Specialist also sees patients at Diabetes Clinic for fitness assessments and education on “Diabetes and Exercise.” She continues to make individual appointments to conduct personal fitness assessments, which includes reviewing medical history, and evaluating body mass index, body composition, health risk-factors, endurance, flexibility, strength, and physical abilities and limitations. Patients receive an individualized plan to improve strength, cardiovascular health, blood sugar control, blood pressure, and weight. Classes are customized to each individual person’s ability.
These classes may be of particular interest to those of you who would like to learn more about the traditional use of tobacco among Native Americans. Tobacco education is available to those of you who are addicted to tobacco and interested in quitting, or community members who are interested in learning more about the traditional use of tobacco. We are working toward increasing our resources available to make quitting easier, including support and guidance from smoking cessation counselors. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and medication (Zyban/Welbutrin) is available upon request from your provider.
Mobile Medical Unit
The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) allows us to provide medical care in remote areas where access to health care has been limited. Sports physicals, hearing, and vision examinations can also be scheduled. The MMU also assists with diabetes screening at community events, and our staff is available to provide basic first aid when needed (examples: Morongo Cultural Day Parade, Torres-Martinez Fiesta). Look for the Mobile Medical Unit driving on the highway or parked at the next Pow-Wow.
Diabetes Program Newsletter
Newsletter: As part of our outreach and educational efforts, the Diabetes Program continues to publish a quarterly newsletter. We have an address list of more than 1050 newsletters for delivery. If you are not on our mailing list, and wish to be, please contact the Diabetes Program.
PATHWAY TO HEART HEALTH
The Pathway to Heart Health project is sponsored by the Diabetes Program at Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health, Inc. The goal of the project is to prevent cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and stroke) through education, treatment of risk factors, and other prevention activities.
If you become a participant in this project, you will need to sign up officially with a member of the diabetes program staff. You can do this by calling Claudia Magana at (1-877-769-8406, ext 128) and she will arrange an appointment for you. At your first visit, we will begin our baseline evaluation that includes scheduling a complete physical, EKG, lab work, a questionnaire, and other forms to complete and sign. Once your baseline assessment is complete, you will begin to receive intensive case management, which involves a monthly visit with a case manager. Your case manager will develop an individualized treatment plan based on your lifestyle and goals, and then will help you achieve these goals. You may receive referrals to other diabetes team staff as well. You have the option of seeing see the physician, dietitian, exercise physiologist, psychologist, and podiatrist as needed, to help you meet your goals.
We hope that with your participation in intensive case management and other Pathway to Heart Health program activities over the next three years; that it will not only help you, but ultimately help Native Americans and Alaska Natives across the country to receive better diabetes care.
MOBILE MEDICAL UNIT
The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) assists with diabetes screening and treatment activities. The MMU will also provide basic medical care at community events and in areas where access to health care has been limited. Look for the Mobile Medical Unit driving on the highway or parked at the next Pow-Wow.