CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Nov. 13, 2002
Children's Hospital of Iowa to educate Hispanic youth about diabetes
in the Pediatric Diabetes Service of Children's Hospital of Iowa will help
Hispanic students in the West Liberty school district learn more about their
risk for diabetes and how they can prevent the disease and remain healthy
during a special program from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18.
The Diabetes Awareness and Education Program for Hispanic Youth is targeting
schools across the nation where at least one half of the student body consists
of Latinos. Organizers launched the program in the month of November to coincide
with Diabetes Awareness Month. Some 25 communities with a significant percentage
of Hispanic citizens will participate in the program through partnerships
between schools and their local hospitals. In addition, five communities in
Oklahoma will offer culturally specific information on diabetes awareness
to Native American Youth.
The partnership between Children's Hospital of Iowa and the schools in West
Liberty will focus on helping students lower their risk for developing Type
2 diabetes or manage the disorder by maintaining a health body weight and
exercising regularly. Eva Tsalikian, M.D., an associate professor in the University
of Iowa department of pediatrics and a pediatric endocrinologist, will serve
as medical director of the Iowa arm of the project.
"This a very important effort. The number of children and young adults
under the age of 20 who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes has tripled in
the last five years," Tsalikian said. "Children of Hispanic or Native
American backgrounds have the highest rates of Type 2 diabetes in the pediatric
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and usually affects
people older than age 40. According to the American Diabetes Association,
fewer than 4 percent of children diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago were
affected by the Type 2 form of the disorder. Today, that figure has increased
to 40 percent. Jeanne Sheetz, a registered nurse and a pediatric diabetes
nurse clinician, will work closely with students and their families. Rhonda
Barr, a licensed physical therapist, and Linda Snetselaar, Ph.D., a research
dietician, will assist with the exercise and nutrition portions of the program.
"We will reach out to these children and their parents or guardians
to help provide them with information and life skills to take a proactive
approach against Type 2 diabetes," Sheetz said.
More than 35 million Hispanics comprise about 12.5 percent of the total
U.S. population. Between 1999 and 2000, the number of Latinos in America increased
by nearly 13 million.
The Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City
is the state's longest-serving children's hospital. More than 100,000 children
receive care at the Children's Hospital of Iowa and its statewide network
of outreach clinics each year.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI
Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research
programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.