The center located at 6719 West Montgomery Road is the department’s third Diabetes Awareness & Wellness Network (DAWN) center and its opening coincides with National Diabetes Awareness Month. The center will provide free diabetes education, help people diagnosed or at risk of diabetes develop self-management skills, and other services to help reduce and prevent chronic disease. It will receive support from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Be Well Communities, a program that promotes wellness and cancer prevention to underserved communities in the Houston area. Be Well Acres Homes will provide educational services to the center, according to the department.
“Expanding our services to another multi-service center shows the commitment to communities in need of more healthy living education and chronic illness management support,” said Elizabeth Appleton, DAWN’s chief nurse. “I know the community will benefit greatly.”
What else it offers
DAWN also offers services at the Third Ward and Denver Harbor Multi-Service Centers.
The centers offer classes on nutrition, fitness, prediabetes prevention, and chronic disease self-management. The staff includes nurses, registered dieticians, fitness trainers, certified medical assistants, public health educators, counselors, and certified diabetes educators.
How diabetes affects minorities
The Houston Health Department said data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that more than 37 million people had diabetes in 2019, and more than 8 million adults had diabetes and never knew it.
Diabetes disproportionately affects minorities, the elderly, and diagnoses are expected to continue rising as minority populations grow in the country, the department said.
Effects of diabetes
The disease can affect most of the organs in the body and is a frequent cause of end-stage renal disease, lower-extremity amputation, and a leading cause of blindness among adults. People living with diabetes are also at an increased risk for heart disease, neuropathy, and stroke.
A healthy diet, regular physical activity and taking medications as prescribed help prevent complications.
People with the chronic disease are encouraged to check blood sugar levels daily, keep blood pressure under control, and know cholesterol ranges.
For a list of diabetes education activities this month and information on locations, programs, and services, call 832-393-4055 or visit HoustonHealth.org.
Other National Diabetes Awareness Month activities include the Fourth Annual Diabetes Walk from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 13, at Sunnyside Park, 3502 Bellfort Ave, Houston, TX 77051. Downtown Houston bridges will light up in blue at dusk on Sunday.