Merry Christmas! A Year in Review
Each year at this time, I enjoy giving a brief overview of the program impacts for the year. 2011 has been a busy year, with very positive results. I want to take this opportunity to thank the many volunteers and supporters who gave of their time and talents to assist with these endeavors! Our volunteers contributed approximately 6,285 volunteers in 2011. Here are a few program highlights:
- Understanding of healthy blood glucose increased from 43% at the beginning of the series to 95% at the conclusion of the series.
- Recognition of foods that increase blood glucose increased from 57% to 100%. Frequency of blood glucose testing increased by 37%.
- When ranking their ability to control diabetes, 66% indicated 'poor', 'fair', and 35% as 'good' prior to taking the educational series. At the conclusion of the series, 95% ranked their ability as 'excellent' or 'very good', and 5% as 'good' - a drastic improvement!
- The economic impact of "Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes" for 2011 is an estimated $1,182.626 based on health care savings and lack of lost work time.
- Clientele comments include: "I learned so much - portion control, plate method, great recipes!" "I learned the importance of watching carbohydrate amounts at meals and snacks. Exercise is also important." "I learned so much that I couldn't learn on my own - thanks!" "I do have a choice and it's an important one. I can make my diabetes better with what I choose to do." " It was extremely organized, interesting, and helpful. I am happy to say I have lost 25 to 30 lbs. and my Pre-diabetic state was corrected at my last blood work draw…. The recipes shared were easy and tasty. The materials we received were of great value to me."
- 80 individuals from 10 northeast Texas counties attended.
- 14 exhibitors shared educational information and services.
- Networking partners included Family & Consumer Sciences Extension agents from Hopkins (lead agent), Hunt, Rains, Wood, and Van Zandt Counties; Department of State Health Services staff; Wound Care Clinic at Memorial, and Hopkins County Memorial Hospital staff.
- All evaluations indicated increase in understanding of: importance of exercise; healthy choices when eating out; differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes; importance of taking medications as directed by doctor; how to modify recipes; wound care, and basic understanding of what diabetes.
- As a result of the impact, another conference is scheduled for May, 2012.
- Promotion of consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables was the focus.
- Average monthly attendance was 12 kids and 6 parents.
- Recipes prepared by kids included veggie quesadillas, fruit kabobs, fruit smoothies, grilled vegetables, individual fruit pizzas and veggie pizza.
- Fruit and vegetables cook books were distributed to parents and other visitors to the Farmers' Market.
- Diabetes exhibits were on display each month.
Youth - Kids' Camp: Fun, Food, Fitness
Childhood overweight is a major issue in the U.S. Children need a strong foundation of good health practices in order to live a healthy lifestyle. A 6-week summer day camp targeting Sulphur Springs children who had completed grades 1 thru 4 was implemented under guidance of the Hopkins County Health/Wellness Alliance (Extension, Department of State Health Services, SSISD and other members). It was marketed through Sulphur Springs elementary schools, newspapers, and radio. Components of the camp were: nutrition & recipe demonstrations, physical activity & Walk Across Texas, and gardening/recycling. High school drill team members, soccer team, and track members assisted with the various activities.
Results were impressive:
- 100% identified benefits of eating breakfast
- 92% indicated they planned to eat foods from each food group each day.
- 88% identified the five food groups
- 88% identified foods that are good sources of calcium
- 82% indicated they would watch out for sugars in their breakfast cereals (label reading)
- The group collectively achieved the goal of 833 miles in Walk Across Texas
- 87% indicated they plan to get 60 minutes of physical activity each day
- 59% correctly identified 2,000 steps or 20 minutes as an equivalent to 1 mile
- 100% identified the three elements needed for plants to grow
- participants planted their own plants, and helped landscape the Ag Workers' Building flower beds
- participants collected bugs, fed the park ducks, and rode in a barrel train
- Camp was rated A+ by participants!
A more comprehensive write-up of these and other Hopkins County Extension programs will soon be available through the "Making a Difference in 2011" booklet.
May the Peace of Christmas be with you and yours!
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