Augusta Health brings diabetes education to the community

Diabetes Team staff said the hospital’s Community Needs Assessment showed them barriers to health care in the community.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 4:41 PM EST
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FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) - Augusta Health is taking their education into the community.

This month, the focus is on Diabetes Awareness Month.

Diabetes Team staff said the hospital’s Community Needs Assessment showed them barriers to health care for the community, so they are meeting folks where they are.

“One of the things we have found is that we’re not reaching the underserved members of our community,” said Kara McGill Meeks, Diabetes Educator and Dietitian with Augusta Health. “So we decided to take this year’s events off the campus.”

Soon, they’ll host a series of events for Spanish-speaking community members at Embrace in Waynesboro, in collaboration with Sin Barreras and the Central Shenandoah Health District. Information will be spread out over four courses over four months, an each class will be taught in Spanish.

McGill-Meeks said language and transportation are often barriers to health care and education.

“We’re trying to find ways to break down those barriers, and if it means going to those places, that’s what we’re trying to do, trying to work with provision of transportation, so there’s all sorts of things of things that are being looked at as far as our programming,” said McGill-Meeks.

Not only that, but rates of disease are higher in some groups.

“Diabetes is in higher prevalence amongst the Hispanic population, and they are often experiencing barriers to care and education and prevention and all those things,” said McGill-Meeks.

The classes will include information on diet, exercise and medication. McGill-Meeks said they plan to address common barriers, too, which means they’ll talk about budgeting to get health food, along with information on community programs that provide financial assistance.

The first class is set for Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at Embrace in Waynesboro. If you’re interested in participating in the event, call Sin Barreras at 540-492-5008.