Home Official News Releases Drake Faculty, Students to Help with ‘Diabetes Day’

Drake Faculty, Students to Help with ‘Diabetes Day’

CONTACT: Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu

Rick Kozin, Polk County Health Department, 515-286-3926

People with diabetes or those at risk for developing diabetes are invited to attend “Diabetes Day” from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, March 9, at the Polk County Health Department clinic at 1907 Carpenter Ave.

“We will provide screenings, education about medication, and care management information for people with diabetes, or, those at risk for diabetes,” said Terri Henkels, Polk County Health Department Director. It is recommended that people fast for 8 hours before screening.

Matthew Cantrell, Drake assistant professor of pharmacy practice, and students Cindy Kim and Gabriel Weefar, both in their final year of pharmacy studies at Drake, will assist with “Diabetes Day.”

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can increase the risk for heart disease, kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease and blindness. Certain racial and ethnic populations, the elderly, rural residents and people will lower incomes are disproportionately affected by diabetes and its complications. Based on the 1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data 10,323 Polk County residents had been told they had diabetes.

“During their visits, someone with diabetes will be able to meet with a Drake pharmacist, a dietician, a diabetic educator and a nurse practitioner. They will learn about diabetes and how best to manage their disease,” said Pam Lester, RN, Polk County Health Department Nurse Educator.

Screenings will be available, free of charge, to any Polk County resident. “Patients diagnosed with diabetes will receive free care, except for their medication. They will also receive, for free, a diabetic meter, one month’s supply of strips and lancets,” said Nancy Thurtell, ARNP, Polk County Health Department Nurse Practitioner. Additional strips, at a reduced cost, are available while supplies last.

Twenty-two people attended the first “Diabetes Day” held in January. Since the first “Diabetes Day,” three people have been diagnosed with diabetes and several with pre-diabetes. Appointments are suggested (515-286-3798) but not required. Walk-ins are welcome. Support for this initiative is provided by the Wellmark Foundation.