Last week, through a collaboration of several UM-Flint departments and community partners, approximately 50 campus and community members learned practical tips for preventing and living with diabetes. Over a healthy, diabetes-friendly lunch, participants heard a presentation from Michelle Bernreuter, RD, diabetes program coordinator at the Hurley Diabetes Center. Each guest was given a free portion-control plate, a tool often used to help educate and help people moderate nutritious food intake. “Diabetes is increasing in prevalence quickly—8.5% of the US population have diabetes—25.8 million children and adults. It is critical that people know how to eat correctly with this disease.” said Molly Brennan, M.P.H., advisor/student placement coordinator and health education instructor in PHHS, who coordinated the event. Blood pressure screenings were also offered, thanks to the help of students and faculty from the Department of Nursing.
Among the guests was Emily Newberry, reference & social media librarian at the Frances Willson Thompson Library. “I attended the event because when I was pregnant with my daughter I had gestational diabetes. My doctors told me that this puts me at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. I’d really like to avoid that, so attending this lunch gave me a lot of great information for how I can make simple changes in my diet to hopefully avoid becoming diabetic, or if I do, to control it with diet. The lunch was great and showed that food that is healthy can also taste good,” said Newberry.
The event was the result of a collaboration between the Department of Public Health & Health Sciences, HealthPlus, MHealthy, the UM-Flint Urban Health & Wellness Center, and the UM-Flint Recreation Center. These groups contributed resources, time, and energy to help community members learn how to make small changes that can make a big difference in their health. “I want to thank all the organizations involved with this collaborative event including the Rec Center, Urban Health & Wellness Center, PHHS, MHealthy and Hurley Diabetes Center. The many resources that we were able to share made this event the success if was” said Brennan.