Ocean Health Initiatives, Inc. (OHI), a federally qualified health center, hosted its first ever Spanish Well & Kind, a holistic diabetes self-management program designed to help people with type 2 diabetes improve their health by looking at the whole person: body, mind and emotions.
The free program consists of 6, weekly one-hour sessions that offer education on how to better understand your condition and to improve your health. On Monday, eighteen attendees of the program graduated and are on the path of turning their lives to manage their diabetes.
This kind of healthcare and support offered by OHI has never been more important, especially geared toward the Spanish speaking only population in Lakewood. About 40 percent of U.S. adults are expected to develop Type 2 diabetes, according to the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention. That number will climb higher for Hispanics – more than 50 percent the CDC reports. By offering a Spanish speaking only class, OHI is able to offer representation among the Latino community as well as close the accessibility gap and tackle many of the social determinants of health. Research has repeatedly found that underrepresented minorities are more likely to follow medical recommendations when doctors are more representative of their community.
Pictured: Eduardo Haynes, MS, RD
“There isn’t a single person in our community who has not been touched by this horrible and chronic disease,” said Eduardo Haynes, MS, RD, the Well and Kind program coordinator and Dietitian. “Even if you don’t have it yourself, you have it in your life.”
“It’s a disease that if you don’t manage it or control it, it will control you. That is why it is imperative to have such class, especially among our Hispanic/Latino population” Haynes said.
Looming above the financial hardships of taking on the disease are possible complications from Type 2 diabetes such as blindness, amputation, kidney failure, ischemic heart disease and stroke.
The challenge of living with diabetes can be more difficult for people from low-income backgrounds. It’s expensive to be diabetic. Annual health care costs for diabetics are more than double than those without the condition in the United States.
Pictured: Hortencia Nicales, Diabetes Management participant
“When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I got very worried. I did not know much about it and when I heard about the program I signed up for it. I want to learn how to manage it in order to live longer for my two kids. I want to see them grow and I want to be there for them, be healthy for them.” Hortencia Nicales, one of the Well and Kind participants.
Many diabetic patients must first accept a diagnosis of diabetes and all the changes that will be required to deal with the disease.
The participants whom graduated on Monday, completed all six sessions received a gift card and Certificate of Completion. For more information on the OHI Well & Kind program, or to enroll, please call Eduardo Haynes, MS, RD at firstname.lastname@example.org.