SEARHC diabetes program wins advocacy award

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s diabetes program received the American Diabetes Association’s John Pipe Voices for Change award for advocacy on Sept. 28, during the 28th annual National Indian Health Board Consumer Conference in Anchorage.

The John Pipe Voices for Change awards — presented in the three categories of advocacy, outcomes and innovation — recognize effective diabetes treatment and prevention services in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The awards honor the memory of John Pipe, a long-time diabetes advocate from Wolf Point, Mont.

The SEARHC diabetes program was one of two tribal diabetes programs honored for advocacy (the other was the Native Health Diabetes Program of Phoenix).

The SEARHC diabetes program has two grants through the Special Diabetes Program for Indians that are geared toward treatment and prevention — a community-directed grant that focuses on clinical treatment and preventions, and the Lifestyle Balance Program grant that provides 16 classes of lifestyle change education to help people with prediabetes avoid diabetes. SEARHC hosts several clinical activities and community events focused on increasing physical activity and healthy nutrition, including using traditional foods and activities to prevent and treat diabetes. The SEARHC Diabetes Program also hosts two social marketing campaigns —  Know Your ABC’s (A1c test for blood glucose/sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol) and Know Your Numbers (blood glucose/sugar levels). The two campaigns target medical providers, people with diabetes and prediabetes, and people at risk for diabetes, with information presented during luncheons, displays and community events.

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