By Amy Heydlauff
Sometimes you can get something for nothing. This column is about something that’s free.
You’ve probably heard all the stunning information about the huge number of Americans who have diabetes. Or the even larger numbers of Americans with pre-diabetes – about 90 percent who don’t even know they are at risk. In Michigan pre-diabetics amount to over 2 million people.
A month or so ago I had a call from a past associate who now works for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM). The connection between the large number of Americans with pre-diabetes and the NKFM is the strong link between kidney failure and diabetes. With this background, I’ll circle back to the free part.
The NKFM has a program that is uniquely designed to delay or prevent diabetes in participants who meet the definition of pre-diabetic (below you’ll find a survey to determine your risk).
They would like to offer the program to anyone in our five healthy towns who qualifies.
We met with representatives from the NKFM, some local physicians and the outpatient diabetes clinicians from Chelsea Community Hospital. A primary focus of our meeting was how to get those at risk into the program.
Here’s what we decided to do: Hold the program locally; ask local physicians to encourage their patients to attend; make the program open to all who qualify – with or without physician referral or encouragement; hold an information only meeting on Jan. 9 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at the Chelsea Wellness Center; sweeten the pot with incentives for participants, like guest passes to a local wellness center and pedometers.
If you or someone you know has been told by a doctor that "your sugar is high" or "we need to watch your blood glucose" or "you’re pre-diabetic," come to the information session on Jan. 9 or contact us and we’ll tell you how else you might connect with the program.
If you scored high enough on the survey questions below, do the same. For more information, call or email the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation at 734-433-4599 or email@example.com. Physicians looking for more information can also contact us.
We look forward to collaborating with everyone interested in preventing diabetes in our five healthy towns.
Are you a woman who has had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth? Yes (1 point)
No (0 points)
Do you have a sister or brother with diabetes? Yes (1 point), No (0 points)
Do you have a parent with diabetes? Yes (1 point), No (0 points)
Are you overweight (body mass index greater than 24)? Yes (5 points), No (0 points)
Are you younger than 65 and get little or no exercise in a typical day? Yes (5 points), No (0 points)
Are you between 45 and 64? Yes (5 points), No (0 points)
Are you 65 or older? Yes (9 points), No (0 points)
A score of nine or more points qualifies for the program.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.