Diabetes Press Release

Saturday, October 17, 2009


South College's Physician Assistant Studies Program is conducting a Diabetes Screening and Health Fair for Knoxville's homeless Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 8:30 a.m.-noon at the Volunteer Ministries Center clinic on Broadway. The clinic is in honor of National Physician Assistant Week.

While there are an estimated 23.6 million people in the United States with diabetes, nearly one-quarter of them are not aware they have the disease. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious complications and even death. By knowing the proper steps to take, it is possible to manage and even thrive with diabetes.

"There are lifestyle changes anyone can make that can prevent diabetes or make it much easier to live with," said Sara Watkins, South College Physician Assistant Studies student in charge of diabetes screening. "By helping people determine their risk and learn ways to live a healthier lifestyle, we can help prevent serious illness and medical issues in the long term."

At the clinic, participants will receive glucose monitoring and diabetes screening. Physician Assistant Studies students explain the disease and the advantages of these screenings. Counselors will also offer information on nutrition and exercise, overall health and hygiene.

Since some diabetes can be prevented or controlled through proper diet and exercise, the clinic will offer advice on how to manage food choices and how to start a good exercise routine on nearby park trails and greenways.

"We know proper exercise is so important to controlling diabetes," said Catherine Dailey, vice president of the Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2010. "In order to encourage more beneficial exercise among the homeless population, the South College Physician Assistant program has been collecting new and gently used tennis shoes through our ‘Kicks for K-town' project. We will be giving out these shoes to participants at the health fair."

To emphasize the importance of a healthier lifestyle, the clinic will also provide information on the consequences of unmanaged diabetes, including feet and eye damage, plus offer early warning signs to spot pre-diabetes. Free eye exams and foot exams will be provided with referrals for follow-up care if necessary.

"We hope to reach the homeless in Knoxville and help them learn about this disease -- ways to prevent it and ways to control it," said Dailey. "Living healthy is something we can all work on together."

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One Response to “Diabetes Press Release”

Anonymous said...

How fortunate your community is to have such a dedicated group of PA students like yourself who so willingly give up their precious time to help the less fortunate. Hats off to you! Love auntie L