Diabetes Advisory Council Honors Champions in the Fight Against Diabetes

North Carolina Diabetes Advisory Council Award recipients for 2018 include: Susan Houston of Vidant Health (far left); Ahunna Freeman of Southside Discount Pharmacy (third from left); Rachel Marquez (second from right); Melissa Herman, FirstHealth of the Carolinas (far right); and members of the Healthy Communities Department at Cone Health (center).

North Carolina Diabetes Advisory Council Award recipients for 2018 include: Susan Houston of Vidant Health (far left); Ahunna Freeman of Southside Discount Pharmacy (third from left); Rachel Marquez (second from right); Melissa Herman, FirstHealth of the Carolinas (far right); and members of the Healthy Communities Department at Cone Health (center).  

Nov. 5, 2018 -- The North Carolina Diabetes Advisory Council honored heroes in the fight against diabetes in an award ceremony held Oct. 26 in Raleigh, just days before the start of Diabetes Awareness Month, declared by Governor Roy Cooper to draw attention to the disease that has no cure.

“We are proud to support the work of the Diabetes Advisory Council and to help recognize individuals and organizations that are working to reduce the burden of diabetes across the state,” said Dr. Susan Kansagra, Chronic Disease and Injury Section Chief for N.C. DHHS’ Division of Public Health. “We appreciate Governor Cooper’s proclamation and join with him to encourage all North Carolinians to learn about their personal risk for diabetes and to follow up with their health care team.”

Complications from diabetes include heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, chronic pain, amputation and may lead to premature death. Education and outreach are crucial in reducing the burden of diabetes.

The Healthcare Provider Awards recognize individuals as well as hospitals, clinics and health care organizations. This year’s awardees included the Healthy Communities Department at Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington; and Melissa Herman, Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center Manager at FirstHealth Diabetes & Nutrition Center in Pinehurst.

The John Bowdish Community Awards recognize people and organizations that have provided community support in diabetes management and prevention. This year’s awardees included Rachel Marquez, Healthy Administrative Fellow at Cone Health in Burlington; and Susan Houston, Nurse Case Manager at Vidant Health Employee Wellness Program in Greenville.

The Myrna Miller Award recognizes an employer who has provided support in diabetes management and prevention. This year’s award was presented to Ahunna Freeman, Director of Clinical Services at Southside Discount Pharmacy in Winston-Salem.

Over each of the last five years, an estimated 53,000 North Carolinians have been diagnosed with diabetes. About one in four people with diabetes don’t know they have the disease. In North Carolina, about 2.5 million adults have prediabetes, a condition that puts them at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Across the United States, about one in three have the condition.

Created in 1988, the Diabetes Advisory Council partners with NCDHHS’ Division of Public Health, Chronic Disease and Injury Section and other stakeholders to reduce the burden of diabetes in North Carolina. The group meets three times a year to promote training, discuss new service priority areas and interventions, foster collaboration and propose strategies for the prevention and control of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through participation in a diabetes prevention lifestyle change program, including healthier eating habits and routine exercise to maintain weight and overall fitness.

Increasing community awareness of diabetes risks and symptoms can improve the likelihood that people with diabetes or prediabetes will get the education they need to prevent or reduce complications. For more information on diabetes prevention and tips for managing diabetes, visit diabetesnc.com