On Saturday, November 17th, health care organizations across Boston came together to educate the community about diabetes and its risk factors at “Boston Community Health Centers Fight Back Against Diabetes: A Healthy Holiday Celebration for All.”
The event took place at Harbor Health Services, Inc.’s Elder Service Plan and Administrative Offices located in Mattapan. Health care professionals provided free health screenings for participants including: eye care by Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, dental care by Greater Roslindale Medical & Dental Center and Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings by Neponset Health Center and acupuncture sessions by Pathways to Wellness.
Classes ran from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM with topics ranging from Diabetes and Black Americans to Caring for an Older Adult with Diabetes. Whittier Street Community Health Center, Neponset Health Center, the American Diabetes Association, Mattapan Community Health Center and the Dorchester South WIC Program all hosted classes.
Representatives from South End Community Health Center, Dorchester South WIC Program, Neponset Health Center, Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, Boston Public Health Commission, El Planeta, The ReSPECT Registry, Neighborhood Health Plan and the Boston Public Health Commission provided information on their respective services and handed out free giveaways.
The American Diabetes Association sponsored two zumba classes and a cooking demonstration by their own Albert Whitaker. Attendees learned how to make a diabetes-friendly apple crisp and were given the ingredients to make the dessert at home. In addition, cook books for healthy eating were raffled off and everyone received a “portion plate,” a useful piece of dinnerware that is divided into three sections for the appropriate amount of protein, starches and vegetables.
As the event came to its final hour, Gerry Thomas from the Boston Public Health Commission delivered an exciting message from Mayor Thomas Menino. In honor of the event, November 17th was declared “Boston Community Health Centers Fight Back Against Diabetes Day” in Boston.