SEARHC hosts diabetes discussion with Gale Marshall

June 30 2011

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Health Promotion Division and Lifestyle Balance diabetes prevention program will host noted diabetes consultant Gale Marshall for a free community presentation at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi (200 Katlian St.). An Oklahoma Choctaw from North Carolina, Marshall will give a presentation called “Diabetes is Only a Word,” which will discuss diabetes prevention, myths, success stories, management and positive outcomes for those living or dealing with diabetes in their families. Marshall is the chair of the American Diabetes Association’s Awakening the Spirit Team, which is part of the ADA’s Native American Initiatives/Programs to reduce the impact of diabetes in the American Indian/Alaska Native community. American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest rates of diabetes of any ethnic group in the United States, with some tribes having more than half of their adult members diagnosed with diabetes. Marshall owns Two Feathers Management, which is a national consulting firm that provides qualitative research, meeting facilitation, health communication and media services to a variety of federal organizations, marketing firms, universities and tribal organizations. She has been a consultant for the past 15 years with the Indian Health Service’s Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention, and with the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (the SEARHC Diabetes and Lifestyle Balance program grants both are part of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians). Marshall also has served on the International Diabetes Federation-Indigenous Populations Workgroup, as part of the United Nations Diabetes Resolution campaign and worked on the IHS/Nike N7 Wellness Shoe Project. In 2010, Marshall received the National Impact Award from the National Indian Health Board for her outstanding service in the advancement of American Indian and Alaska Native health. The SEARHC Lifestyle Balance Program is a special program for Alaska Native and American Indian adults who have been diagnosed with prediabetes, a condition that frequently progresses into Type 2 diabetes. The Lifestyle Balance Program involves class sessions over 16 classes that teach patients small lifestyle changes — such as developing healthy eating habits, getting more physical activity and quitting tobacco — which can prevent or delay prediabetes from becoming Type 2 diabetes. The program is recruiting students for its next class, which starts at the end of August. To learn more about the Lifestyle Balance Program, contact Heleena vanVeen at 966-8914 or heleena.vanveen@searhc.org, or Walleen Whitson at 966-8916 or walleen.whitson@searhc.org.