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Community Invited to Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center Open House and Health Fair

May 11, 2010

A's Catcher Jake Fox to Make a Special Apperance Supporting Diabetes Awareness

Diabetes support and education services have a brand new home. To help celebrate the opening of the Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center, the new facility is having an open house and health fair from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 20. Located at 3575 Beacon Avenue in Fremont, everyone in our community is invited to meet our staff, tour the new location and learn about the diabetes services that are offered. The health fair will offer free health screenings and diabetes education booths. Oakland A’s catcher Jake Fox and Stomper, the A’s mascot will also be joining us.

"Our new location is beautiful," says Vida Reed, a registered nurse and diabetes educator at Washington Hospital. "We’re very pleased that the hospital created a space just for us. The nurses were involved throughout entire planning process, from the layout to the color scheme, to where the windows would go. The room set-up, the furniture – it’s all designed to benefit patients."

Effective diabetes education

The center offers American Diabetes Association (ADA)-recognized services provided by a dedicated team of certified diabetes educators. Programs include:

· The BASICS Program: A comprehensive approach to teaching everything patients need to live successfully with diabetes.

· Diabetes Matters: A free, monthly diabetes education class with expert speakers (for the first hour) and group discussion (for the last hour) that provides science-based information to help all community members increase knowledge about diabetes.

· Sweet Success: A California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program Sweet Success affiliate, which works with women who have diabetes and wish to become pregnant or those experiencing gestational diabetes.

Having access to comprehensive diabetes education in the local community, Reed says, is more important than ever.

"The prevalence of diabetes is growing, and here in Alameda County, the zip codes that the hospital serves have some of the highest incidence of diabetes in the state of California," Reed points out. "As a result, more people in this area are getting diagnosed with diabetes.

"Effectively treating and managing diabetes requires that people learn new things that can help them make necessary lifestyle adjustments."

Special guest Oakland A’s catcher Jake Fox

Joining the diabetes center’s staff during the open house will be Oakland A’s catcher Jake Fox.

Fox and his wife Allison are strong supporters of diabetes awareness, particularly since Allison was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 18.

As a result of the diagnosis, Allison’s doctors told her she was at risk if she participated in sports. But she didn’t let that limit her. Instead, thanks to a good diet and regular monitoring of her blood sugar, she was able to compete in cross country throughout college.

"For us, I think it really hits home because a lot of people tell kids they can’t participate in things because they have diabetes," says Fox. "Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t participate. You can still do the things you want to do with your life. You just have to take a little more care of yourself than most people do."

Fox says diabetes is nothing to be afraid of. It’s simply a matter of educating people so they don’t fear the condition, but instead know how to deal with it.

"We’re looking forward to the visit," he says. "Anytime we can show our faces and help out, we enjoy that. This game puts you in a unique position to help people. It’s our obligation to use that to give back and help out because there’s been so many people along the way who’ve helped us."

Find out more

The new diabetes center, part of Washington Hospital Healthcare System, offers educational services in a soothing non-clinical environment. For more information about the open house and health fair on Thursday, May 20, call (510) 791-3417.

The Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the center’s services, call (510) 745-6556 or visit http://www.whhs.com/diabetes.