2018 marked a decade’s worth of Diabetes Days at Ohio Valley Hospital (OVH)! On a snowy Spring Equinox, we kicked off the season with this well-attended gathering. One hundred and fifty attendees made their way to our campus for the annual event, which unites community members living with chronic illnesses, and those who strive to live a healthier life. Susan Zikos, RN, LDN, CDE, the OVH Diabetes Coordinator and co-planner of Diabetes Day, does this through lectures, food demonstrations, free health tests, local vendors, and much more!
Those who attend every year know that they can get a free A1c test, along with blood pressure tests, a Dexa Scan, and a foot check. To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Diabetes Day, Ohio Valley Hospital added a cholesterol test as well! The new test wasn’t the only add-on, however. The popular event took over the entire first floor of the OVH School of Nursing campus, adding in an expert panel called, “Diabetes Prevention and Lifestyle Management,” made up of professionals from our Physician Services group and Medical Office Building, and an Information Area chock-full of must-reads on diabetes health care and healthy living.
45th District Representative Anita Kulik attended the event and took advantage of the free testing.
For the first time, our School of Nursing students got involved in the event. From assisting with paperwork to performing glucometer readings, it was a way for future RN’s to get to know the community they may serve! Valerie Gaydosh, Director of the OVH School of Nursing, was thrilled to incorporate her students into Diabetes Day. She says it “gave our freshman students an opportunity to reinforce learning of diabetes concepts by attending the event, while our senior students got the opportunity to share their skills and knowledge by assisting professionals in different areas. All in all, it is a terrific learning experience for all the students involved, and we were thrilled to be a part of it!”
Speaking of community, 2018 was the first time a Community Room was added, in addition to the usual auditorium of vendor tables, “to bring the community more into focus,” says Director of Marketing, Megan Hinds, the event co-planner. The purpose of this room is to encourage interaction between attendees and “local groups, whose goals focus not just on healthcare, but positive community change.”
So what is diabetes, and why does OVH put a spotlight on this condition? Diabetes is part of a cluster of conditions called metabolic syndrome which includes increased blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. When these conditions occur together there is an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. As part of the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment first done back in 2013, it was determined that this chronic disease was one on the rise in our area. Zikos hopes that, “by making people more aware of this possibility, we can decrease these conditions in our population.”
Zikos explains that community members benefit greatly from this event because “people who attend see many others who are dealing with the same things that they are dealing with. It is a comfort to know that you are not alone in your struggles.”
We look forward to growing and this event even more in the coming years, and can’t wait to get started planning our 11th Diabetes Day next spring! If you want more information about next year’s event, keep checking our Events section on our website. Keep your eyes on our Facebook page for more pictures! If you have any event feedback, please send us a message on our Contact Us page.
Save the date for next year! Our 10th annual Diabetes Day will be held on Spring Equinox; Tuesday, March 20th, 2018! Please RSVP for the event below!
About The Event
- Free Health Screenings, including a free A1C test!
- Cooking Demonstrations with free tastings
- Lecture Panel featuring OVH’s new Endocrinologist
- Educational sessions and lectures
- Free samples and gift card raffles
- Vendor booths with diabetes supplies and services
- Free Parking!
*Speakers and topics are subject to change. Please check back for updates!
Click HERE to visit our Diabetes Day webpage to view all of the expected vendors and sponsors for this year’s event!
Halloween is usually the time of year where people break into the fun-sized candy bars and begin their holiday season…of eating. According to the Ohio Valley General Hospital 2013 Community Needs Assessment, Type I and Type II diabetes diagnoses are on the rise for students in Allegheny County, and about 9% of Allegheny County residents currently suffer from diabetes. That’s why Ohio Valley General Hospital is committed to building proper diabetes education in the community. That includes nutrition and proper eating.
Our Seniority-sponsored Diabetes Day on October 23rd offered a Halloween-themed food demonstration of healthy food choices diabetics (and their loved ones) can turn to for snacks. Witches fingers, or carrot sticks with humus and almond slivers, were a big hit. Sweet and Savory eye balls had two different kinds of rice cakes, one with low fat whipped cream and a grape, the other with avocado, yogurt, chili powder, and an olive. Diabetes Educator Rachel Kingsley talked to the group of more than 60 community members about how important it is to avoid foods with saturated fat, and how important it is to integrate the right kinds of carbohydrates and proteins into your healthy snack bag.
Foodies were then treated to a discussion on diabetes by Terri Seidman, Associate Director for the Western PA branch of the American Diabetes Association. She talked about how the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes has changed over the years, from the discovery of insulin in the 1920s to the use of disposable needles. She said the combination of a healthy diet, an active lifestyle, and when necessary oral medications can help control Type II diabetes. Seidman also brought up the ADA Expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Saturday, November 9th from 9:00a.m. until 4:00p.m. Rachel Kingsley will also be there. The event will offer glucose screenings, cooking demonstrations, and experts in the field of diabetes discussing lifestyle changes, weight loss, and nutrition.
Phyllis Stern, Director of Sales and Move-Ins from Willow Heights, Senior Independent Living, dropped by to share her own experiences with diabetes, and to talk about the importance of balancing nutrition with an active work schedule. The afternoon concluded with free glucose screenings for anyone interested.
If you’re interested in learning more about OVGH’s nutrition and diabetes education services, call 412-777-6205 or visit us on the web here.