Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, MA is committed to changing lives and fighting type 2 diabetes by educating community residents on the importance of nutrition and diet. Their unique approach in preventing and treating this chronic disease was recently featured in the Boston Globe. The article noted that Codman’s efforts to fight diabetes comes as federal officials project that the number of adults with diabetes could double or triple by the year 2050.
The upsurge of diabetics in the Bay State is why Codman’s Executive Director Bill Walczak decided to structure this program differently. Instead of individually meeting with a physician for a short amount of time, Walczak decided to have groups of 10 patients meet with a physician, allowing participants the opportunity to gain support from one another and spend more time with specialists.
“In the process, they build social relationships that will be supportive,’’ Walczak told the Boston Globe. “We need more support mechanisms for patients, rather than just more drugs.’’
Codman is working very hard to change attitudes, nutrition and exercise habits. Program participants are able to take advantage of cooking and fitness classes as well as access to a gym. Another partnership pays for prescriptions for diabetics to get free fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market. Such efforts are critical in a state that has seen obesity and type 2 diabetes rates on a steady rise. State disease trackers found that the percentage of Massachusetts adults diagnosed with diabetes nearly doubled, from 4.1 to 7.4 percent, between 1994 and 2007.
photo courtesy of Codman Square Health Center