With the help of local healthcare professionals and healthcare providers, we hosted the first-ever East Kentucky Diabetes Symposium on Friday, November 3, 2023, in Hazard, Ky.
The event took place at the Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky where nearly 75 people filled the event space to hear and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing those who have diabetes in Eastern Kentucky.
Congressman Hal Rogers, Dean of the US House of Representatives and Co-Principal Officer of SOAR, provided a video welcome.
“The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services recently released a report showing 16% of adults in Kentucky’s Appalachian counties have diabetes and we’re losing more Eastern Kentuckians to diabetes than any other part of the state and that greatly concerns me,” he said. “We have our work cut out for us, but I believe we have the right formula for success with folks who are here today.”
First of its Kind
Barry Martin, Founder and CEO of Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky, shared his gratitude for everyone who was able to attend and help make the event a possibility.
This topic is personal to Barry. He watched his mother’s health decline throughout the years struggling to control her Diabetes.
“I feel that if somebody were there to teach my mother, like a mentor, my mother would have been able to have had a better quality of life,” he said.
Through that life experience and seeing the need for a Diabetes Center in Appalachia, Barry was proud to say that this is now a resource that is available for those in the region with the inception of the Diabetes Center Team at PCCEKY. It is also named the Mary E. Martin Diabetes Center of Excellence
With the help of Dr. John Jones and an amazing medical team, the Diabetes Center is a place where Diabetic patients can go for their medical needs.
You can watch Barry’s introduction to the East Kentucky Diabetes Symposium HERE.
How Does Eastern Kentucky Move the Needle on Type II Diabetes?
Dr. Steven J. Stack, Commissioner for Public Health for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Keynote Speaker, helped address the current condition, the solutions, and what Eastern Kentucky can do to begin making changes to the Diabetes epidemic.
Dr. Stack went into detail on the foals and actions that the cabinet is addressing for Diabetes:
- Prevent new cases of type 2 diabetes by promoting access to and participation in evidence-based lifestyle change programs such as the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).
- Increase appropriate screening for prediabetes, diabetes, and gestational diabetes by promoting evidence-based screening guidelines.
- Ensure that people with diabetes have access to evidence-based services, including Diabetes SelfManagement Education and Support (DSMES), and case and disease management, which improve knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to manage their disease and improve outcomes.
- Fund sustainable diabetes prevention and control public health infrastructure and workforce at the state and local levels.
- Improve capacity for, and use of, diabetes and chronic disease surveillance systems and Health Information Technology (HIT) systems needed to determine the impact of diabetes on the commonwealth and improve the quality of prevention and management efforts.
The main takeaway from Dr. Stack’s talk is that Diabetes is manageable and preventable.
You can watch Dr. Steven Stack’s talk HERE.
Food as Medicine: Impact on Diabetes Management
Ashley Webb, a Registered Nurse with Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), helped discuss how meals can drastically affect one’s health, especially that of a Diabetic patient.
The idea of Food Medicine is making smart food decisions to:
- support and improve overall health
- prevent illness
- manage specific health conditions
Webb stressed that the food we consume can have a significant impact on our well-being.
She also focused on the challenges and barriers that Diabetes patients in Appalachia face such as food insecurity and misinformation.
However, ARH is attempting to help provide food and assistance to all Appalachians through its numerous programs: Voucher Programs at Farmers Markets, employee gardens at ARH facilities, founding partner in the Food as Health Alliance (a collaboration with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment), Food as Medicine Course for providers and ARH workers, ARH Food Pantry, ARH Diabetes Support Group.
You can watch Ashley’s presentation HERE.
Using Diabetes Education Self-Care Behaviors as a Framework for Care
Dr. Kristen R. Stakelin and Chlodys Johnson from UK Healthcare’s Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center were able to share their studies on how Diabetes is affecting not only the state of Kentucky but, more so, the Appalachian region.
Dr. Stakelin and Johnson shared the educative resources attendees could use to help current and future patients by using the ADCES7 Self-Care Behaviors, those include:
- Healthy Eating
- Being Active
- Taking Medication
- Healthy Coping
- Reducing Risks
You can watch Dr. Stakelin and Chlodys’ presentation HERE.
Dr. Jane Strader with UK King’s Daughters Medical Center taught attendees about the Kentucky Prediabetes Learning Collaborative.
The program is a partnership for healthcare providers on how to help patients better improve their health to prevent Diabetes.
It helps allow healthcare organizations to learn from one another, participants, and experts on the field to help a community’s health goal.
Dr. Strader was able to share King’s Daughters Medical Center’s current status of their collaborative program and how they have been successfully helping their community and patients.
You can watch Dr. Strader’s presentation HERE.
- Attendees got the opportunity to get a tour of the PCCEK facility to see what the center has to offer.
- An afternoon panel discussion touched on the difficult topics of job revenues in current hospital and healthcare facilities in Eastern Kentucky
- Speakers Included:
- Colby Hall (Moderator), Executive Director, Shaping Our Appalachian Region
- Donovan Blackburn, President & CEO, Pikeville Medical Center
- Barry Martin, Founder & CEO, Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky
- Brian Springate, RN, CPPS, CEO, Hazard ARH
- Speakers Included:
- An additional panel discussion helped answer some of the attendees more difficult questions and concerns they are seeing in their communities
- Speakers included
- Dr. John Jones (Moderator), Medical Director, Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky
- Morgan Stidham, Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky
- Paul Baker, Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky
- Melissa Moore, Appalachian Regional Healthcare
- Dr. Rishi Raj, MD, Endocrinologist, Pikeville Medical Center
- Speakers included
You can watch the first discussion table presentation HERE.
You can watch the second discussion table presentation HERE.
Thank you to our Partners
We want to give a big shoutout to our partners at this year’s East Kentucky Diabetes Symposium:
- Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky
- Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, UK Healthcare
- Appalachian Regional Healthcare
- Pikeville Medical Center
- King’s Daughters Medical Center
- Hazard Community and Technical College
- Galen College of Nursing
- Knott County Health & Rehab Center
- Corcept Therapeutics
- Team Kentucky
- KY Department for Public Health