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The Catalyst

SC Diabetes Initiative hosts March 20 Under the Dome event

By Mikie Hayes
Public Relations

SC legislators and their staff undergo a diabetes screening at Diabetes Under the Dome Day in Columbia.
SC legistlators and their staff undergo a diabetes screening with MUSC clinical staff and volunteers at Diabetes Under the Dome Day 2013 held in Columbia. The group were assessed for their height, weight, BMI, random blood glucose levels and blood sugar control. photos provided

On March 4, the 120th Session of the South Carolina General Assembly voted on and adopted House Resolution H. 4844 which recognized the devastating effects of diabetes on South Carolinians. The Assembly also proclaimed March 20, 2014 to be Diabetes Awareness Day in South Carolina.

The House resolution included detailed statistical information about diabetes including the fact that in 2012 South Carolina ranked seventh highest in the U.S. for the prevalence of the disease. Nearly 26 million patients are affected by diabetes and about 33 percent of U.S. adults have prediabetes.

Kathie Hermayer, M.D., M.S., director of the Diabetes Management Service at MUSC and chair of the board for the Diabetes Initiative of South Carolina, was integrally involved in the group responsible for crafting the language for the resolution.

Dr. Kathie Mermayer

“On behalf of people of South Carolina, I think it is really important that this bill has been passed by the legislators recognizing Diabetes Awareness Day, one day in March for the years to come. This is a way to be a voice for so many people who are afflicted with diabetes and prediabetes. It is an opportunity to articulate the importance of screenings and other preventive measures to stave off the development and the adverse outcomes of this disease.

“Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes and amputations.” Hermayer said.
Diabetes Awareness Day will be an annual event and will also coincide with Diabetes Under The Dome Day, an event sponsored by the DSC.

On March 20, the DSC will sponsor a day at the Statehouse with the legislators and staff where health care professionals will conduct diabetes risk assessments including tests related to blood glucose, A1C, blood pressure, body-mass index, waist circumference, height and weight. 

“The purpose of the program is to increase awareness related to diabetes and associated risks in South Carolina and where better to start than at the Statehouse,” Hermayer said.

Many diabetes–trained professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, diabetes educators and social workers will be on-site to assist with the screening program.

Hermayer added, “People who are identified with risks or prediabetes can drastically reduce their chances of developing diabetes by increasing their physical activity, following the proper diet and losing even a small amount of weight.” 

The DSC was established in June 1994 by the South Carolina Legislature and was signed into law by the Governor in July 1994.  The DSC is charged with the development of guidelines for the management of diabetes and supporting adherence to evidence–based standards for education and care. The DSC is committed to lowering the burden of diabetes in the state through promotion of clinical management techniques and patient education via community outreach centered on blood glucose control, blood pressure control, healthy eating, physical activity and foot care.

March 20, 2014

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