TAMC educates with diabetes wellness fair

| November 22, 2012 | 0 Comments
Jessica Trueblood (right), registered nurse, Army Public Health Nursing, TAMC, performs a blood pressure check for Chris Bisquera, cook, Anuenue Café, TAMC, during a diabetes health and wellness fair at TAMC, Nov. 17. (Photo by Stephanie Rush | Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

Jessica Trueblood (right), registered nurse, Army Public Health Nursing, TAMC, performs a blood pressure check for Chris Bisquera, cook, Anuenue Café, TAMC, during a diabetes health and wellness fair at TAMC, Nov. 17. (Photo by Stephanie Rush | Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

Pacific Regional Medical Command
News Release

HONOLULU — More than 100 active duty and retired service members and their families braved the rainy weather and attended a diabetes health and wellness fair at Tripler Army Medical Center, here, Nov. 17.

This is the second year that TAMC’s Nutrition Care Division has sponsored a fair, with assistance from clinical staff across TAMC, Army Public Health Nursing, the Defense Commissary Agency and Naval Health Clinic-Hawaii.

Dr. (Lt. Col.) Robert Oh (left), physician, Family Medicine Clinic, TAMC, and 1st Lt. Carolynn Rittermann (right), wellness dietitian, Nutrition Care Division, TAMC, speak with Rhonda Plum, family member, about how simple lifestyle changes make managing diabetes easier, such as switching out sugar with sugar-free substitutes, during a diabetes health and wellness fair held at TAMC, here, Nov. 17. (Photo by ­Stephanie Rush | Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

Dr. (Lt. Col.) Robert Oh (left), physician, Family Medicine Clinic, TAMC, and 1st Lt. Carolynn Rittermann (right), wellness dietitian, Nutrition Care Division, TAMC, speak with Rhonda Plum, family member, about how simple lifestyle changes make managing diabetes easier, such as switching out sugar with sugar-free substitutes, during a diabetes health and wellness fair held at TAMC, here, Nov. 17. (Photo by ­Stephanie Rush | Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

The fair’s theme, “Do You Know Your Numbers,” focused on A1C and cholesterol levels. Both of these levels determine if a patient is diabetic or at risk of developing diabetes.

According to Mary Eiger, fair coordinator and dietitian, Nutrition Care Division, TAMC, the fair’s purpose was to educate people on ways to negotiate their life outside of Tripler when they are dealing with diabetes, which is in line with the Army Surgeon General’s vision and campaign to influence and improve beneficiaries’ life space.

“It is important for diabetic patients to understand there is a lot more than just (diet) that impacts your numbers, and it is more than eating right and showing up to your appointments,” Eiger said. “Many things impact your diabetes. It is a lifestyle, and there is a culture to diabetes.”

Attendees were able to meet with DeCA vendors to learn how easy it is to buy healthy foods at the commissary; to visit Army Public Health Nursing booths, which provided foot exams, blood pressure screenings and body mass index screenings; and to speak with patient educators about a variety of topics, including disaster planning for diabetics.

The fair kicked off with special presentations and lectures by Dr. Mark Verschell and Dr. Michael Kellar, both of the Behavioral Medicine Clinic, Department of Psychology, TAMC.

Verschell, who is a clinical psychologist and director of the LEAN Healthy Lifestyle Program, spoke about the importance of weight management for diabetics; local and national rates of obesity, as they correlate with diabetes; and strategies for controlling diet.

Kellar, who is the chief of the Behavioral Medicine Clinic and director of the Tobacco Cessation Program, spoke about tobacco use and how it affects diabetes.

HONOLULU — Catina Bell (right), licensed practical nurse, Family Medicine Clinic, Tripler Army Medical Center, performs a monofilament test on Rhonda Plum, family member, during a diabetes health and wellness fair at TAMC, here, Nov. 17. A monofilament test is used to check for sensation and circulation of diabetic patients in their feet. If a patient cannot feel the monofilament on their feet, they may have circulation problems. (Photo by Stephanie Rush | Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

HONOLULU — Catina Bell (right), licensed practical nurse, Family Medicine Clinic, Tripler Army Medical Center, performs a monofilament test on Rhonda Plum, family member, during a diabetes health and wellness fair at TAMC, here, Nov. 17. A monofilament test is used to check for sensation and circulation of diabetic patients in their feet. If a patient cannot feel the monofilament on their feet, they may have circulation problems. (Photo by Stephanie Rush | Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

Because diabetes becomes a patient’s lifestyle, the fair was a important resource for both diabetic patients and, also, family members.

“I wanted to come (to the fair) to get information for my sister who is diabetic,” said Rhonda Plum, family member. “As a volunteer here, I have many friends who are diabetic. I wanted to get more information to share with all of them.”

Plum, who has volunteered at TAMC for the past 22 years, attended the fair with her husband, a retired Sailor. She said she enjoyed all of the interactive sessions and information booths, but learned the most from the presentation on tobacco use and diabetes. The Plums picked up helpful information they can share with their family.

“It’s great to see (Tripler) looking out for people with diabetes and doing this to help people learn,” Plum said. “I hope they continue holding this fair for those who have diabetes or know someone who does.”

More Photos
View more photos online at www.flickr.com/TriplerAMC.

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Category: Community, Education, Fitness, Health, Training

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