Council of Governors and State Diabetes Awareness Chairperson Plan New Diabetes Awareness Peer Support (DAPS) Program With Training and Guidance of UNC Faculty

With a clear focus on service the Council of Governors and the State Chairperson of Diabetes Awareness, Judy Jackson, agreed to partner with UNC faculty in order to tackle one of the nation’s top health issues of Diabetes. Lion leaders in North Carolina were pleased to learn of this commitment to begin an innovative pilot project across the state. District Diabetes Awareness Chairs will be trained in this new initiative and will be key to keeping the clubs informed as it progresses.
Obesity and Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, more than 1/3 of the US population is obese, more than 1/3 have pre-diabetes or diabetes, and for people over 55, half of adults have pre-diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the US work-ing population. The cost of diabetes in our country is approaching 300 billion dollars each year.
Current diabetes education programs offer information on the disease and how to treat it, but is not sufficient to improve health among patients with diabetes. In general and especially among people with access to health care professionals, people with diabetes know what to do: eat well, exercise regularly, monitor blood sugar, and take medications as prescribed.
The core problem is how to motivate behavior change that can lead to better health. The Diabetes Aware-ness Peer Support (DAPS) program has a goal of helping those with diabetes make that type of healthy life-style change.
The peer support approach has been shown to offer promise in motivating behavior change and it can take many forms: phone calls, text messaging, group meetings, home visits, going for walks together, and even grocery shopping together. When used well, Peer Support complements and enhances the health care ser-vices from the doctors and other staff. Peer Support can create emotional, social and practical assistance necessary for managing diabetes.
With the training and guidance of the UNC faculty, Lions across our state will learn how we can make a difference in our communities. People helping people–That’s what Lions do! Stay tuned for more informa-tion as this innovative program unfolds.
Submitted by:
District 31-H Governor, Mike Elmore
District 31-G Governor, Sandy Scarlett
State Committee Chair, Judy Jackson

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