Sampson County residents are going to see some new resources coming to play for those with diabetes, and services are already starting to be offered now at the Butler Court Senior Center.
On Wednesdays, from now through Aug. 27, a group of seniors are meeting from noon to 2 p.m., joining to work on their diabetes management skills.
Elazzoa McArthur, prevention program manager with Community Health Interventions, said Project CAUSE is about changing, advocating, unifying, supporting, and empowering, exactly the words used to define the acronym.
“The project is working towards eliminating health disparities,” he pointed out. “This is a prominent issue with diabetes complications.”
McArthur said the goal of the program was to facilitate healthy living with evidence-based intervention.
This is their third year the program has been offered, and it is funded by the NC Office of Minority Health.
“It is designed to teach people how to better manage their diabetes,” said McArthur. “The long-term goal is to reduce hospital and emergency room visits.”
Other goals of the program include helping participants lose weight and monitor their blood sugar levels, two things important in managing diabetes.
“This (program) has been highly successful,” he stressed. “It has been proven to work over and over again.”
Denise Odlham-Vega, who is teaching the class, has been with the company for around 10 months, he said.
“She is one of the reasons it has been so successful,” McArthur pointed out. “It’s her interactions with participants.”
“She is open and she shares with them,” he said. “She helps make the program successful.”
McArthur also said that the new openness of agencies is also working on moving the program forward.
“They see a need and it is opening doors, and we want to partner to provide (these services),” he said about this “complete network”.
Winning the battle against diabetes, McArthur explained, is the focus.
The classes are for six weeks, and each class is about two hours. Each class, he said, will cover topics like formulating healthy eating plans, basics on diabetes, how to plan low fat meals, stress, muscle relaxation, and depression management.
“These are tools and exercises that can be used to manage complications,” McArthur detailed. The program will also help with communication skills and medication usage.
“This brings people together to share common things,” he pointed out. “People think ‘Woe is me, I’m all by myself.’ There are others suffering with the same complications.”
“By opening up and sharing, this makes it that much easier to deal with,” he said. “This program is phenomenal and it works for other chronic diseases and illnesses as well.”
McArthur is hoping to do more programs in Sampson County and is currently training people to be facilitators.
“We will train people with lay leader workshops,” he said. “We want to recruit individuals to get a lasting foothold in Samson County.”
“We are really excited to have sparked something here,” he said. “I am looking forward to future concerns and needs.”
Community Health Interventions also does case management services where they do home visits, and McArthur said that they are working towards getting those services offered in Sampson County.
Mattie Murphy, Butler Court Nutrition site director, learned about the program while at the Mid-Carolina Senior games. That, she said, was the catalyst for getting the service brought to the nutrition site.
“We have a lot of diabetics and home delivery people that are diabetic,” said Murphy in an interview Wednesday.
“I thought it would be worthwhile to do the program with us,” she said. “And we are willing to open this program to other people in other housing. I hope people are willing to take advantage of the workshop. All they need to do is register.”
To sign up for the class contact Mattie Murphy at 592-5604 at the Butler Court Senior Center. For more information about Community Health Interventions visit communityhealthinterventions.org