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HaysMed Event Promotes Healthy Living

Published on -4/10/2012
Hays Daily News
By DAWNE LEIKER

With a focus on developing healthy lifestyle choices, HaysMed Diabetes Solutions will sponsor a Family Adventure to Health event Saturday.

Registration at the Miller Pavilion, Hays Medical Center, 2220 Canterbury Drive, starts at 8 a.m. with breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. In conjunction with a monthly blood screening, participants can have a complete chemical profile for a cost of $25.

Although Diabetes Solutions has sponsored a similar event in past years, organizers are optimistic that coinciding the health fair with the monthly blood screening will increase participation.

"We're encouraging them (health fair participants) to have their blood drawn," said Chelsey Prough, medical concierge for HaysMed. "Start living healthy ... make sure everything's good."

In an effort to broaden the scope of the event and encourage more participation, Tara Roa, physician assistant for Medical Specialists and certified diabetes educator, said this year's program will target prevention and awareness of diabetes in the context of developing healthy living habits.

Informational booths will provide handouts regarding topics such as diabetes risk factors, wound care and exercise tips, along with give-aways including pedometers and tape measures.

"It (diabetes prevention) is not always about the scale," Roa said. "It's about generalized health."

Other attractions throughout the morning include: a healthy snack cooking demonstration, prize drawings and healthy lifestyle games.

Diabetes Solutions, an educational program offered to those with a physician's referral, meets twice a month, and was organized to meet a local need, Roa said.

"There has really not been anywhere to send somebody who has diabetes for just generalized education on what to do on a daily basis," she said.

For those who want to start taking steps to diabetes prevention, Roa said she would encourage exercising or watching portion sizes.

"Those are going to be the two most important things, to either maintain weight or get a little bit of weight off to get healthy," she said. "And even if they don't lose much weight, there is a lot of evidence to prove that even by doing the exercise and eating healthier foods, it still makes a huge impact on prevention of diabetes."

The steps toward diabetes prevention need not be drastic ones, she said, suggesting an incremental approach to breaking negative habits and adding positive ones.

"We want to make it attainable and make it so they can enjoy their life," she said. "They just need to start slow and keep progressing."