Two organizations helping fight diabetes

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A free diabetes screening fair was held at the First Baptist Church in Walnut Ridge on Tuesday. This event was a collaborative effort between the Lawrence County Church Women United group and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

President of the Lawrence County Church Women United, Lila Floyd, says they decided to host this event when they discovered the problem diabetes is in Lawrence Country. "There are approximately twenty-six million people who have diabetes in the United States and of that number, fifteen percent are unaware they have the disease. We, as an organization, decided we would try to put together a screening fair, an awareness event to try to help combat this disease."

People could also get tested on their blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol.

Lawrence Memorial Registered Nurse, Trina Swift, was on hand to answer people's questions and educate them in any way she could. "I'm teaching people about diabetes awareness and our program at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. We have a diabetes education program and the specialty clinic is a self management program. We wanted to reach out to the community so they'll know they can come there for their resources and learn about diabetes prevention and awareness."

Floyd says she and fellow members of the church organization feel one of the major contributors to unawareness are financial problems. "There is a large number of individuals in our community that do not have health insurance. And so, this is an avenue for them to at least get this part of their overall health checked."

And it was this very reason that Swift says Lawrence Memorial jumped on board when they received a call for help from the women in the church group. "Some people, they can't go to the doctor and find out and stuff so we're making them aware of what their risk is and what they need to do. We're telling them, 'this is where you're at and you need to talk to your doctor."

Swift says the most important thing people can do when dealing with diabetes is to stay informed. "Know your numbers. What is your blood sugar, what is your A1C and your height and weight because those are you biggest risks. If your overweight and you have high blood pressure these things are putting you in a higher risk bracket."

For a more information about Church Women United, log onto their website.

For information about Lawrence Memorial's Diabetic Program, you can log onto their website.

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