CommunityHealth is a proactive force for the good health of our local community: we employ numerous preventative health care measures, all designed to stop health issues from escalating and, where possible, from occurring at all. We don’t just want to be in our patients’ lives at times of ill-health; rather, CommunityHealth strives to be an ever-present companion dedicated to helping our community be as healthy as possible- all the time.
Diabetes is a prominent health concern, both at CommunityHealth and nationally: nearly 10% of the U.S. population suffers from diabetes, and over 80 million American adults have prediabetes (at high risk of developing diabetes). To combat these figures, we offer free prediabetes classes, in which we educate patients on how to decrease the risk of developing diabetes, as well as the realities of living with the disease if no lifestyle change is made.
Unfortunately, we cannot always prevent the onset of diabetes. In these instances, we offer diabetes management classes, also complimentary, in which we advise patients on how to manage the condition and work on reducing blood sugar levels through a healthy lifestyle to ensure the disease doesn’t worsen. Additionally, those diagnosed with diabetes are prioritized at the health center for retinal and podiatry exams, to ensure a quick diagnosis of common health issues that often accompany diabetes, preventing additional health problems from arising.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone (not only those living with, or at risk of, diabetes); it is unquestionably the number one way to reduce the chances of health complications arising. Knowing this, CommunityHealth’s Health Education department demonstrates and encourages healthy lifestyle habits, focusing mainly on exercise and diet. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day is proven to have tremendous health benefits; the challenge for us is to make the exercise accessible, communal and a positive experience. We offer free Zumba and Yoga classes, open to our patients and community members, and we help dispel common myths associated with exercise, such as that walking doesn’t contribute to a daily exercise goal.
Maintaining a healthy diet is the second major point of emphasis for our Health Education department. Whereas some people are unable to exercise due to physical ailments, the majority of us do have direct control over our diet. Our Healthy Cooking Classes educate practically and theoretically on how to make nutritionally balanced meals on a budget. By introducing new foods and demonstrating the ease with which they can be prepared, we equip students with a better understanding of not only nutrition, but of foods overall and the type of energy they provide. Outside the health center, the Health Education department works with local schools to educate and encourage healthy eating habits from a young age. These small changes in lifestyle made early on can result in years added on further down the line. Adelle White, Health Education Manager, elaborates further: “So much of a person’s health is determined by small habits and things they do each day. Eating is a really big part of that. The causes of death that are most common in the US now are from diseases that are largely preventable; like diabetes and hypertension. The most effective way to prevent these diseases is to eat healthfully and stay active. Not to mention that prevention of diseases is much cheaper than treating them!”
Through the education and promotion of healthy values, CommunityHealth aims to continually raise the quality of life enjoyed by those who visit the health center and our surrounding community. To see all the Health Education Classes currently offered, click here.