Feb. 9, 2018 – The Southeast Georgia Health System
Diabetes Education Program is launching Health Matters, a monthly series of educational discussions
and support to help people achieve long-term health and wellness. Diabetes
educators will begin facilitating Health Matters in April.
The development of Health Matters has been motivated by the obesity epidemic
and the increasing number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are
over one million people in Georgia living with diabetes. The first session
will be a basic overview of nutrition; breaking down carbohydrates, proteins
and fats for a healthy plate; portion sizes; caloric intake; and setting
the foundation for S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Sue Ullrich, R.N. MA.Ed., CDE, diabetes program coordinator and certified
diabetes educator, explains, “Getting real about everyday health
and wellness is the goal of the Health Matters program. People need to
understand there is no one thing you can do to be a healthier person.
It is a combination of things that people need to change and think differently
about over the long term. Getting there takes time and is best approached
in small steps to help avoid frustration with the change process.”
This is where S.M.A.R.T. goals come in: specific, measurable, actionable,
reasonable and timely. To be successful in making lifestyle changes that
include diet, exercise, managing stress, getting more sleep and recognizing
you may be thirsty, not hungry, requires small, incremental modifications
in day-to-day living.
“You literally have to retrain your brain to think differently,”
notes Ullrich. “Too often people jump in with both feet and are
thrilled with immediate results in the short-term, but find they can’t
sustain the behaviors over time. Health Matters is about addressing these
lifestyle issues and challenges individually, setting goals and building
on success. Engaging participants to share their own experiences can also
be of help and support to others in the group.”
The program kicks off April 5 on the
Camden Campus, and will meet from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. The
Brunswick Campus meeting will be held monthly in the Kemble Conference Room from 1:30-3:30
p.m. on the second Thursday of each month beginning April 12.
The program is free and open to all, but preregistration is requested by
calling 912-466-1689 in Brunswick or 912-576-6488 in Camden.