Diabetes prevention spans WSU

By staff reports

As part of the Washington health authority’s push for enhanced departmental health and wellness programs, WSU Extension is offering free type-2 diabetes screenings and prevention clinics at nine locations across the state.

The 16-week series of weekly classes is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program and is designed to help prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

According to the program, about 1.8 million adults in the state are at significant risk for developing the disease – and most of them don’t know it.

“What’s great is that if you catch people in a pre-diabetes session, we can stop them from developing diabetes by changing their eating habits and lifestyle,” said Ann Monroe, the assistant director of WSU Pullman’s human resources department.

One screening event took place Monday on the Pullman campus, and another is scheduled for Nov. 19. Those interested in participating can sign up athca.uswappointment.com.

Blood tests are offered at the screenings to determine whether participants are at risk of developing type-2 diabetes. A short pre-screening risk assessment quiz can be found athrs.wsu.edu/file/NotMeQuiz.pdf.

To participate in the weekly classes, a person must have a body mass index (BMI) above 25 and be at risk of developing the disease.

The class series costs $380, which is covered by WSU employees’ state Public Employees Benefits Board medical insurance plans.

Others might be able to enroll using employer health benefits or apply for limited scholarships available through a federal grant.

Class participants are taught by a trained lifestyle coach and receive free workbooks and tracking tools to help manage their progress.

Another screening is scheduled for Dec. 4 at the Vancouver campus, and organizers are working to schedule events at Spokane and Tri Cities.

The weekly class series will begin at different times across the state. More information can be found by contacting the Whitman County location at 509-397-6290 or the WSU human resources department at 509-335-4521.

Reporting by Chad Sokol