Diabetes Education Classes and Dining Club Offered at Gaithersburg and White Oak Libraries

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 County residents who want to learn how to manage their diabetes are invited to attend free monthly diabetes education classes at the Gaithersburg and White Oak libraries beginning March 1 in Gaithersburg and April 7 in White Oak. Residents are also invited to join the Diabetes Dining Club for monthly food tastings that combine healthy food, physical activity and a chance to socialize while learning about diabetes. The diabetes education classes and the dining club are designed to reduce the rate of diabetes and diabetes complications among African American/Black, African and Caribbean residents in Montgomery County. The diabetes education program and the dining clubs are sponsored by the African American Health Program (AAHP), part of the Department of Health and Human Services. In Montgomery County, as well as across the United States, African Americans/Blacks have higher rates of diabetes related emergency room visits and hospitalizations for both acute and long term diabetes complications. The classes are accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and provide the basic foundation of the self-care behaviors for managing diabetes. Those include healthy eating, blood glucose monitoring, taking medications, physical activity and reducing complications. The classes and clubs are led by a nurse and a dietitian. The class meets for 10 hours over four consecutive weeks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all individuals with diabetes, especially those newly diagnosed, receive diabetes self-management education. Studies show that self-management education improves quality of life, slows the onset of diabetes complications and lowers health care costs. The program also includes Healthy Living and Activities Clubs, created to provide support for those choosing a healthy lifestyle. The clubs meet monthly and provide an opportunity to learn new skills, learn the latest health information, sample new foods and participate in fun forms of physical activity. The clubs are designed to address the food preferences of African American, African and Caribbean communities and are led by a diverse team of health educators. Past participants have said “it is because of the classes and the dining club that I have remained focused on my diabetes. Attending the club has helped me be mindful of what I eat, how I prepare food, testing my sugar and most importantly, exercising.” The AAHP’s mission is to eliminate health disparities and improve the number and quality of years of life for African Americans and individuals of African descent in Montgomery County. For more information, visit www.onehealthylife.org. To register, call 240-773-0387. # # # Release ID: 16-072 Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6534

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