National Diabetes Awareness Month

In observance of National Diabetes Awareness Month, University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology is offering free educational events in both Talbot and Kent counties for those interested in learning more about diabetes and prediabetes risk factors, treatment and disease management.

Recent public health statistics indicate that diabetes rates for Maryland’s Eastern Shore counties are approaching — and in some cases, exceeding — 10 percent. According to Trish Rosenberry, regional director, UM Shore Regional Health Specialty Clinics, this high prevalence is made more dangerous due lack of public awareness of the disease and its potential consequences. “More than 25 percent of people who have diabetes are undiagnosed and asymptomatic, and therefore are unaware that they have the disease and may be experiencing damage to their heart, eyes, kidneys and limbs,” Rosenberry says.

The Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology’s annual Diabetes Awareness Open House is scheduled for Friday, November 17, 1 to 4 p.m. in UM Shore Medical Center at Easton’s Freeman Outpatient Center. The Open House enables individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes, and their family members or caregivers, to meet and talk with diabetes care providers, educators and also vendors offering diabetes care products.

The open house will feature special presentations, as follows: at 1 p.m., “Cooking for Better Health,” demonstrated by Ryan and Emily Groll of Eat Sprout, a local small business enterprise that provides nutritionist-designed, chef-crafted, organic and GMO-free meals.; at 2 p.m., “Medicare Assistance for Persons with Diabetes,” by Pam Limberry from Talbot County’s State Health Insurance Program (SHIP); and at 3 p.m., “Navigating Pharmacy Plans and Controlling Costs,” by Kristan Tallent, Pharm.D., and pharmacy team members from Hill’s Drug Store. Also offered will be information on maintaining your best health with diabetes, preventing diabetes and managing pre-diabetes.

In Chestertown, the public is invited to a free seminar “You Can East and Still Lose Weight” set for Wednesday, November 8, 1:30-2:30 p.m. at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown’s Education Center. Local dietitians Mary King and Cheyrle Borneman will offer tips on how to achieve your desired weight without severe dieting.

Also in Kent County, Mt. Olive AME Church in Worton will host a Diabetes Health Fair on November 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair will feature dietitians from UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, fitness/wellness personnel from Kent Athletic Center as well as local providers of natural/organic foods and nutrition products from Seedhouse and Chestertown Natural Foods who will offer guidance for persons with diabetes or pre-diabetes on dietary, exercise and other lifestyle choices that promote good health. Those who attend the fair also will be treated to a free lunch and gifts.

“Food Shopping for Health” grocery store tours, designed to teach those with diabetes or pre-diabetes how to shop and plan for meals that will promote optimal health, will be offered in Chestertown and Easton. The Chestertown tour, led by Mary King, will take place on Thursday, November 9, 1 to 3 p.m., at Redner’s Market, 17 Washington Avenue. The Easton tour, led by Karen Hollis, is set for Tuesday, November 14, at Giant Food, 8993 Elliott Road.

“These tours help people learn how to ‘shop smart’ and select foods that will help them avoid complications,” says King. “A diabetes diagnosis can seem overwhelming, but there are shopping strategies to help you plan menus and fill up your cart with the right foods to maintain your best health.” To RSVP for the Redner’s tour in Chestertown, call 410-778-3300, ext. 2295; for Giant in Easton, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.

Interested community members also are welcome to attend Diabetes Support Group meetings held monthly in Cambridge, Chestertown, Denton and Easton. For meeting schedules and locations please call the UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.

About UM Shore Regional Health: As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,600 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

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