From Our Team
Posted on November 16, 2021 by Dr. Michael Kelly
Four out of every twenty-five adult El Pasoans self-report a diabetes diagnosis; however, this number does not account for the people who are unknowingly living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. After a diagnosis is made many ask the question, “now what?”
Thankfully, we are living in a time when diabetes can be managed with medication and lifestyle. When diabetes is well managed and blood sugar kept in target ranges, a person can enjoy life with minimal disruption and reduced risk of long-term complications.
That’s why this November, during Diabetes Awareness Month, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, El Paso Center for Diabetes, and Diabetes Alliance are partnering to launch the Diabetes Now What? campaign. This campaign is a health communication endeavor to help people across El Paso prevent or manage diabetes. Over time, poorly managed diabetes can be detrimental to the body and can cause severe, permanent damage to the kidneys, eyes, feet, or heart; with a COVID-19 diagnosis, these problems could become exacerbated increasing chances of death. For these and other reasons, learning to manage diabetes is imperative for long-term health and well-being.
Keeping in a healthy weight range, eating right, living actively, taking medications as prescribed and managing stress are all research-backed methods to prevent a diabetes diagnosis or reduce the negative effects of a diabetes diagnosis. While none of these options are inherently easy, they are a simple back-to-basics ways to regain control of your health – and the El Paso Center for Diabetes and Paso del Norte Health Foundation are here to help.
The Now What? campaign, co-designed by UTEP scientists, provides people with some resources helpful for diabetes prevention and management. The Now What? campaign’s website: www.epdiabetes.org/now-what/ includes lists of accredited diabetes prevention programs, diabetes self-management courses, support groups, cooking classes, and more If you are looking for a simple explanation of diabetes or tips for lifestyle changes, the website contains videos and easy to read fact sheets. Please visit the website to learn more about the making positive changes to prevent or manage diabetes. We also ask you to consider linking Now What? to your organization’s website.
As you shop around town this month, you may notice life-sized cut-outs of real El Pasoans with diabetes, thanks to an innovative partnership with Walgreens and Macy’s. QR codes linking to the website and cards promoting the website are displayed on the cut-outs. As an added effort this November, the Health Foundation and the El Paso Center for Diabetes will promote the Now What? campaign and information surrounding it on their social media platforms. These posts feature real residents with diabetes, sharing their unique journeys, as well as community partners and basic diabetes awareness information. The Paso del Norte Health Foundation, El Paso Center for Diabetes, and Diabetes Alliance are proud and honored to introduce the Now What? campaign. We hope this program will help set a tone for future diabetes health communication efforts. As we collect data, hear feedback, and learn along the way, the Diabetes Now What? campaign surely will evolve and expand. You are invited to the table as a community partner to discuss and shape future diabetes awareness campaigns. There is a seat for everyone. Click here to view our Diabetes Essence video.
For more information, visit www.epdiabetes.org or call 915-532-6280.
By Michael Kelly, Paso del Norte Health Foundation Vice President of Programs and
Sandra Gonzalez, El Paso Center for Diabetes Executive Director
PDNHF Initiative: Diabetes
Foundation Staff: Michael Kelly
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