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EASTSIDE : Diabetes Assn. Will Press Latino Effort

August 21, 1994

Seeking to increase outreach and educational efforts in the Latino community, the American Diabetes Assn. will host classes next month to train bilingual volunteers in spreading the word about the causes and effects of diabetes.

Participants may choose from two diabetes awareness programs to be offered Sept. 17 and 18 at USC University Hospital, 1500 San Pablo Street.

The Diabetes Instructor Program will train volunteers to speak to community groups and organizations on diabetes and its prevalence in the Latino community. The program is a 15-hour training and certification course for bilingual volunteers who must commit to a minimum of six community presentations a year.

The second program, Consejeras de la Diabetes, coordinates in-home presentations to promote awareness about diabetes, risk factors for Latinos and community resources for diagnosis and treatment of the disease. It is an eight-hour training course, also for bilingual individuals, that requires a minimum commitment of six diabetes home "health parties" a year.

Diabetes prevents the body from making insulin, a hormone that converts sugar in food into energy. Instead, the sugar collects in the blood and urine, stalls body functions and hardens arteries. The disease can lead to blindness, heart or kidney disease, stroke or amputation.

More than 13 million people nationwide have diabetes, including 700,000 in Los Angeles County, according to the American Diabetes Assn. Latinos suffer the highest incidence rate in the county, with one in seven afflicted with the disease.

The Consejeras de la Diabetes training program will be held Sept. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Diabetes Instructor Program will be offered Sept. 17 and 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Participants in that program must attend both sessions.

Registration and information: (213) 381-3639.

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