In an effort to bring more local health care services to the area, Clark Fork Valley Hospital and Family Medicine Center will be hosting three diabetes seminars.
The seminars will take place throughout the county and there will be one a month, spanning the months of August, September and October.
Brandy Kincheloe, community health improvement specialist at CFVH, said the seminars will discuss how food can have an effect on one’s blood sugar.
“We will be discussing diets for those who have diabetes in hopes to maintain healthy blood sugars,” Kincheloe said. “The main idea is that what one eats can affect their blood sugar and this may be a chance for them to explore some great dietary changes.”
The seminars offer an opportunity for those with diabetes to learn about types of food that can help them maintain healthy blood sugar, as well as good portion sizes. The classes also offer a good networking opportunity.
“This is also a great way for people to share with one another what works for them so that they may make those positive changes in their daily eating habits,” Kincheloe said. “Small changes in regular diet habits can have great effects.”
Leslie Coates, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator, will be hosting the seminars.Coates will use both power point presentations and an open forum style to encourage attendees to speak up and share their experiences.
The classes can accommodate up to 30 attendants and will also offer a free cholesterol screening lipid panel gift certificate. The certificate is a $25 value and can be used at CFVH.
“It is important for those who have diabetes to be savvy on what’s best for their daily diet so they can live healthy, happy lives,” Kincheloe said. “Hopefully, by having a better idea of what is best for them to eat they will prevent themselves from having other complications. It’s also a way to have the community get together and share their ideas.”
Kincheloe said many people may not have access to a dietician or may not realize what a great resource a dietician is. The free seminars give the community an opportunity to become familiar with a dietician’s services, while also opening up an opportunity for community members to learn from each other.
“This is just one way by taking charge of one’s health we can make the community healthier as a whole,” Kincheloe said.
The classes will be held on Aug. 18 at the Plains Senior Center from 3 – 5 p.m., Sept. 15 at the Hot Springs Senior Center from 3 – 5 p.m., and on Oct. 13 at the Thompson Falls Senior Center from 3 – 5 p.m.
If the seminars are successful, more educational opportunities will be held in the future. According to Kincheloe, the hope is to continue to provide diabetes education classes with Coates and also provide other classes that peak interest in the community.
The seminars are part of a continuing effort to provide services the public listed in the Community Health Needs Assessment results from 2012. The study showed desired local health care services such as diabetes education, community wellness programs and health behaviors and lifestyles were things the community wanted more of.
If anyone has an idea of a community class that would be of interest, they are encouraged to email Brandy Kincheloe email@example.com.
“I’d love to hear from the community what classes they can help me arrange in regard to health and wellness programs,” Kincheloe said.