Diabetes Coalition addresses SWGA epidemic - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Diabetes Coalition addresses SWGA epidemic

Health officials are sounding the alarm on what's being called the diabetes epidemic facing South Georgians. (Source: WALB) Health officials are sounding the alarm on what's being called the diabetes epidemic facing South Georgians. (Source: WALB)
Phoebe Diabetes Resource Center Director, Tracy Suber (Source: WALB) Phoebe Diabetes Resource Center Director, Tracy Suber (Source: WALB)
Phoebe physician Dr. Derek Heard (Source: WALB) Phoebe physician Dr. Derek Heard (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Health officials sounded the alarm on what's being called the diabetes epidemic facing South Georgians.

It's particularly bad in the counties surrounding Albany.

The Diabetes Coalition was formed to address the problem.

One out of every five healthcare dollars in America is spent on diabetes, and for Southwest Georgia that number is even higher.

Phoebe Diabetes Resource Center Director, Tracy Suber, is on the frontlines of Southwest Georgia's diabetes epidemic.

"A lot of patients that come in they may not have any understanding at all of their condition," explained Suber.

Suber gives patients an assessment form.

"Relevant for us to determine where they are in terms of the condition and their education level," said Suber.

And pertinent information that helps staff get patients to the right resources.

But the goal of the diabetes coalition is to identify high risk individuals early.

The group held their first meeting last Friday.

"Diabetes has become a scourge in Southwest Georgia," said Phoebe physician Dr. Derek Heard.

Some of the members include Phoebe and Dougherty County Health Department.

"Church is one of the main places that people will have discussions about their health," said Dr. Heard.

And he said it's important to have everyone at the table to address the issue.

Suber explained right now they have two advocates battling diabetes in the coalition.

"They've been instrumental in some of the decision making that we've had," remarked Suber.

Dr. Heard said it really comes down to being proactive, "more active, eat healthier, making sure your exercising on a regular basis."

The next Diabetes Coalition meeting will be in August.

For those who have diabetes, the Diabetes Resource Center offers outpatient group classes on diabetes, nutritional evaluation and glucose monitoring.

For more information, you can call 229-312-1392.

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