A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Diabetes Symposium draws hundreds of educators, prevention specialists from several states

More than 400 diabetes educators and healthcare professionals from several states gathered in Louisville today for the Diabetes Symposium. The event focused on diabetes prevention and control, the impact of diabetes on public health and the need for enhanced prevention efforts. It was hosted by the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

“It is our hope that Kentuckians recognize the seriousness of diabetes and practice preventive measures. That is why continued education and awareness are so important for both health professionals and Kentuckians who are at risk for diabetes,” said CHFS Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson.

More than 100 million Americans are living with diabetes (30.3 million) or prediabetes (84.1 million). Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body metabolizes glucose, the body’s energy source. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). In Kentucky, estimates from the state Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systems and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that 1 in 8 adult Kentuckians has diabetes and 1 in 3 has prediabetes.

“We know that people in Kentucky are developing diabetes much earlier in life, putting them at risk for costly and devastating complications such as kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, or blindness,” said Dr. Connie White, deputy DPH commissioner. “If we do not turn back the epidemic of diabetes, many people will suffer with widespread disability and premature death.”

CHFS and DPH have committed state funding through the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program and local health departments to strengthen and support diabetes efforts in communities across the state, including;

• Facilitating partnerships such as the Kentucky Diabetes Network, and over 40 diabetes local coalitions.

• Promoting awareness about diabetes and prediabetes through community engagement and outreach.

• Providing links to resources through the Diabetes Resource Directory. (Does this need to be the actual web address for print or will this just be online?)

• Increasing access to Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Programs and Diabetes Prevention Programs across Kentucky.

• Facilitating continuing education and communication.

• Monitoring and reporting diabetes data such as the Kentucky Diabetes Report.

The Diabetes symposium was held at the Marriott East in Louisville. Topics included an update on diabetes in Kentucky; an overview of new American Diabetes Association (ADA) standards of care; medication updates; insulin management; and nutrition.

DPH also reminds all Kentuckians that World Diabetes Day is celebrated annually on Nov. 14. Led by the International Diabetes Federation, World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. Everyone is encouraged to wear blue, the designated color for diabetes awareness, on this day.

From Cabinet for Health and Family Services

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