Diabetes Education in Hopkins County
Each year, Extension Agents all across the state of Texas provide summaries of their focus programs to familiarize everyone of the impact Extension provides. Below you will find a summary about diabetes education conducted in 2012 in Hopkins County. My inspiration for teaching others about diabetes management is my son, Travis. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes) at the age of 2-1/2. He is now a strapping young man, 6'2" tall, honor student at Dallas Baptist University, leader on DBU's Recreation Team which travels 10 weeks during the summer conducting church camp recreation all across the state…and truly an inspiration to others!
While diabetes is not curable, it is manageable. Skills needed to effectively manage diabetes are well documented. Diabetes education is readily available, yet the number of Americans with diabetes is projected to increase 43 percent, growing from 12.1 million to 17.4 million by 2020. Diabetes is a chronic disease, meaning there is no cure. However, great strides are being made in diabetes research bringing a hopeful future for those who have the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2008, 10% (3,500) of the population in Hopkins County have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The total cost of diabetes for people in Congressional District 4, of which Hopkins County is part, was estimated at $380,755,000 according to 2008 statistics. This estimate includes excess medical costs of $254,500,000 attributed to diabetes, and lost productivity valued at $126,255,000.
Several diabetes educational programs took place in 2012 to assist individuals in managing their diabetes:
1) “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” series – 9-topic, 5 lesson series
2) “Cooking Well with Diabetes” series – 4 lesson series
3) Diabetes exhibits: Hopkins County Fall Festival, Early Childhood Learning Center, Senior Citizen’s Expo, Dinner Tonight Cooking School
4) Teaching partner for Do Well, Be Well series conducted in Wood County
5) “Diabetes Jeopardy” evaluation instrument (game-style power point)
6) Numerous one-on-one diabetes consultations and packet preparations
7) Newspaper columns in Sulphur Springs News Telegram and www.frontporchnewstexas.com addressing diabetes management
8) Diabetes newsletter series distributed electronically to those who requested the series
9) Networking with Transforming North Texas grant coordinators on chronic disease management
“Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” series resulted in diabetes management improvements in the following areas:
- 40% indicated being newly diagnosed; 20% between 1 and 2 years; 40% had diabetes 5 or more years
- Walking or other similar physical activity 30 minutes most day increased from 20% to 100%
- Frequency of blood glucose checks increased from 20% to 100%
- Recognition of foods that increase blood glucose increased from 40% to 100%
- When ranking their ability to control diabetes, 80% indicated ‘poor’ or ‘fair’, and 20% as ‘good’ prior to taking the series. At the conclusion of the series, 100% ranked their ability as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
- Economic impact of the 2012 “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” series is $120,122 based on health care cost savings.
“Cooking Well with Diabetes” series showed the following improvements by clientele:
- Understanding and use of the Plate Method for portion control increased from 30% to 100%
- Ability to modify recipes to lower salt content increased from 50% to 100%
- Ability to modify recipes to increase fiber increased from 30% to 100%
- Ability to modify recipes to decrease sugar content increased from 70% to 100%
- Ability to prepare healthy meals for persons with diabetes increased from 50% to 100%
- Clientele responses: “Good review of serving sizes and do-able ways to reduce sugar & salt and still have a tasty product!”; “Enjoyed the cooking demos – I plan to try some of the recipes”; “I feel better equipped to make better choices”
Diabetes Jeopardy: This fun, informative tool is used as an evaluation instrument to determine overall understanding of diabetes management principals covered in the “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” series. It is played the same way as its TV counterpart, and the winning team is awarded with bragging rights. Effectiveness of the DWBW series is determined by the number of correct responses to the game-style tool.
Committees and Diabetes Coalition: The Family & Consumer Sciences Committee, Master Wellness Volunteers and Diabetes Coalition assist in implementation of the educational series and exhibits.
Diabetes newsletter series: Four newsletters are available electronically for those requesting the information. These cover the topics of sick day management, traveling with diabetes, making the most of doctors’ visits, and making healthy food choices.
Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed.
Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
1200-B W. Houston
P.O. Box 518
Sulphur Springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 - phone
903-439-4909 - fax