The Delta Health Alliance

Diabetes U graduation on Delta State’s Campus

Posted on: March 5, 2012

(Stoneville)  – People around the Delta State campus have become accustomed to commencement ceremonies happening in May and December. However, the latest graduating class received their credentials in late February at the Community and Economic Development Center.

Cleveland residents Derotha Weeks and Dorothy Kemp took part in a three-month diabetic education course offered by Delta Health Alliance called Team Sugar Free Diabetes U. The overall goal of the class is to educate diabetics in the management of their blood glucose and A1C levels. Diabetes U Nurse Educator Korninthia Dee Smith guided the participants through the instruction modules.

Smith explained that “A1C is a three-month follow up to check blood sugar levels. It gives doctors an indication on whether or not they need to adjust insulin if blood sugar starts to get out of control.”

One key component for diabetes management is nutrition. “I learned a lot about portion size and starchy vegetables,” Kemp said. “Even though vegetables are good for you, diabetics need to know that there are some vegetables that can raise your blood sugar like English peas, corn and butter beans.” Smith explained that women who are diabetic are allowed up to three carbohydrates per meal daily. Non starchy vegetables like asparagus, cauliflower and beets are considered a free carb choice.

The encouragement of physical activity is another aspect of Diabetes U class. Both women are very active and continue to incorporate regular exercise.  Weeks lost eight pounds during the length of the class mainly because of her daily activities. “I go to the senior center here in town and we do a lot of exercises that can be done while sitting down,” she said. “I exercise every day.”

In addition to instruction about weight control, nutrition and regular exercise, the graduates also had regular monitoring of their blood pressure.

In parting, Smith gave the graduates a packet of information to help them manage their diabetes on a daily basis. She also offered each graduate the case management portion of Diabetes U. “I will call you and track you on a monthly basis to see how things are going,” Smith explained. “It’s a motivational support to encourage you to continue making improvements in your diet and your physical activity.”

Both women agreed to participate in case management and to assist in recruiting additional Cleveland residents for future classes.

Classes take place each Monday from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the Community and Economic Development Center on the Delta State University campus. . There is still time to join the latest group of Diabetes U by calling 1-877-850-9312 to reserve a place and to be eligible for prizes. Diabetes U classes are free and open to the public. For more information about Team Sugar Free and Diabetes U, visit the Delta Health Alliance website at