An updated statistic from the US Department of Health and Human Services. UU It says that American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely to have diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites. Between 1994 and 2004 there was an increase of 68 percent in people between 15 and 19 years affected by diabetes. To counter this trend, the federal government has provided millions of dollars in the form of grants. These grants would help the welfare center help across the country to spread knowledge and offer exercise classes for those who qualify.
Drew Miller, of NAZToday, stopped by Native American for Community Action Wellness Center to discover how the program is changing the community for the better. The NACA Wellness Center is located on Cedar Avenue in Safeway Plaza. Palmea Jenson is the main health educator at the wellness center and a big part of raising awareness about the common enemy, diabetes.
Jenson says the program is aimed at educating and targeting the native population of the United States over 18, who qualifies according to medical examinations. The evaluations that are carried out in the extension events allow the opportunity to analyze these tests with the participants that could qualify for the program. The tests include a risk test, which addresses the lifestyle of the participants, family background and other considerations. These tests allow you to start a conversation about what these risk factors show. The risk of diabetes will continue if the forms of prevention are not shared with the community.
The center offers a free program that includes an actively involved staff for those who are willing to make a change in their lifestyle. Fitness specialist Ryan Hemstreet says the center offers a handful of different programs ranging from running to physical and even personal training. The program lasts 16 weeks and studies show that this time frame is the amount of time needed to make a change in lifestyle.
Zane Jacobs is a participant in the program and continues with his surprising results. He started the program as a pre-diabetic, but he has lost this diagnosis, as well as 40 pounds. Bernice McCabe feels that the wellness center is a wonderful program and that more Native Americans need to take advantage of it. The wellness center continues to focus on educating the Native American community about meal plans and ways to exercise in hopes of making a difference in the fight against diabetes.
Video credits to NAZ Today YouTube channel