WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is partnering with the Brookland-Lakeview Empowerment Center to raise awareness about diabetes and help people prevent it.
The program is being funded through an annual grant of $500,000 from the U.S. Office of Minority Health. It is a free, six-month program being offered to both people with pre-diabetes or diabetes and their support partners.
“Not only is the diabetes, the people that have this condition already, but those people that are on the verge of getting it are the people that this organization and our division are trying to work with as well," said Shauna Hicks, director of DHEC's Diabetes Management program.
According to Hicks, this program has a significant need in the Midlands.
“Diabetes runs rampant in South Carolina, across the whole state," Hicks said. "I think it’s probably eighth leading cause of death in our state right now, so diabetes is a persistent problem."
During this six-month period, senior community health coordinator Dara Brown will be working with diabetic clients on goal setting and how to receive support from loved ones.
There will also be a series of clinical guest speakers to answer additional questions.
“It’s been fabulous to learn more about the resources here within Cayce and West Columbia and the areas that are close by," Brown said.
After the program ends, participants will be called back to take part in booster sessions where they can learn more on how to manage living with diabetes.
The Brookland-Lakeview Empowerment Center is currently recruiting participants to take part in an upcoming class on May 5. For more information, call Dara Brown at 803-744-1969.