Health Center News, Uncategorized

Promoting a Healthy Thanksgiving Kitchen

By Amy Simmons Farber

We’ve written a lot about diabetes lately and there’s a good reason:  November is National Diabetes Month, a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner.   According to the American Diabetes Association,  nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States are living with diabetes, and an additional 57 million Americans are at risk.  Community Health Centers are a vital tool in prevention and treatment.  Through the Health Centers Diabetes Collaboratives, an innovative health program designed to generate improved health outcomes for chronic diseases nationwide, health centers are able to reduce both the complications associated with diabetes and the health care costs that go along with treating people who suffer from diabetes-related illnesses, such as kidney damage, limb amputations and blindness.   According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which administers the Federal Health Centers program, diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases among health center patients, generating more than 3.5 million patient visits in 2009 (the most recent data available).  Health center patients are two times more likely than the national norm to have glycohemoglobin (blood sugar) tests performed at regular intervals, and are thus better able to avoid the complications associated with the disease.  All over America, health centers are devising innovative ways to prevent diabetes through education and outreach.  A case in point is Community Health Development, Inc., (CHDI)  in Uvalde, TX.  This week, the health center has joined forces with the DREAM Project, to host a cooking demo called From Our Healthy Thanksgiving Kitchen to Yours!  The point is to demonstrate that  Thanksgiving food can be both tasty and healthy. “With the holidays around the corner, the DREAM Project and special invited Volunteer Chefs will be demonstrating how to prepare diabetes friendly dishes to complement everyone’s Thanksgiving meal,” said Rachel A. Gonzales-Hanson, CEO of CHDI.   The event is free and, even better, attendees can sample delicious dishes and take home receipes.