A new community outreach program at Tampa General Hospital is designed to prevent diabetes and other health conditions by identifying those at risk before the diseases take effect.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated over 79 million Americans age 20 and older have a condition known as prediabetes. Most do not realize they have the condition because their symptoms are not as severe as those with diabetes. It is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Risk factors can include: being a woman who has had a baby over nine pounds in weight at birth, having a parent, sister
or brother with diabetes, being under 65 years of age and getting little to no exercise and being 45 years of age or older.
Recognizing the need in the community, Tampa General Hospital
(TGH) is offering free educational sessions to help those at risk to achieve optimal health through lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. The program involves 16 weekly sessions followed by eight monthly support group meetings.
"We’d like to teach people the skills to prevent developing diabetes," says Tamika Powe, Community Health Educator for TGH, adding that the benefits can trickle down to family members as well. "Hopefully they’re taking the information they learn in this program back home to their families to help everyone make better choices."
The program is funded by TGH and is limited to 12 registrants per class in order to maximize effectiveness. The next session begins in September at locations in Tampa Palms and South Tampa. Participants must meet qualifying criteria.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Tamika Powe, Tampa General Hospital