Diabetes Banner Patch
Lions/Lioness Club Award
2013-2014 Banner Patch for Community Diabetes Awareness
Community Diabetes Education Project
In 1999, WLF, with a $100,000 grant from LCIF, undertook development of a major new initiative: a community-based diabetes education project for patients, health professionals, and the public. To date, this effort has been focused in every Lionistic District, and we have learned a great deal.
A continuing goal has always been to find a way to expand the project to serve many more communities. That mechanism has now been established and an ambitious expanded Community Diabetes Education Project has been developed.
The Wisconsin Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, through its Diabetes Advisory Group (50 + health care experts), has published the second edition of its “Essential Diabetes Care Guidelines” for health professionals. Please click on their name for more details.
Diabetes in Wisconsin
Six and one-half percent of Wisconsinites (330,000+) now have diabetes, and the incidence is growing at an epidemic rate. It is estimated that an equal number have diabetes, but have not yet been diagnosed. The direct and indirect cost of diabetes in Wisconsin is counted in billions of dollars.
Much can be done–through building awareness and education (public, patients with diabetes, families of those with diabetes, and health professionals)–to encourage early detection, improve control of diabetes and reduce the potential complications for those with diabetes. And Wisconsin Lions can make a significant and important contribution.
Lions and Diabetes
Awareness was adopted as a long-term commitment of Lions International in March 1984. The primary objective of the Lions project is to reduce the number of new cases of blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy (a common complication of uncontrolled diabetes) through diabetes education, early detection and treatment, and support of research.
Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people aged 20-74. Other diabetes complications include much higher incidences of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney problems, nerve damage, and amputations.
What Your Club Can Do To Help
Your Wisconsin Lions Foundation Program Associate is being asked to serve as the initial focal point for encouraging your Club’s support of the WLF Community Diabetes Education Project.
Diabetes is a major focus of Lions International’s Lions Eye Health Program (LEHP), also known as SightFirst. If your club does not already have a LEHP or SightFirst Chair, perhaps you could consider establishing a Diabetes Chair. Chances are great that every Lions and Lioness Club in Wisconsin has one or more members with diabetes who would be interested in serving.
One key to developing an active local community diabetes effort is teamwork between a Diabetes Project Leader and your Publicity Chair, and, of course, the support of other members when a project is in process.
Club participation will raise your community’s awareness of the newsworthy and important issues surrounding diabetes. It will also bring your Club’s good works to the attention of the community (as well as to prospective new members).
The time commitment required to develop worth (and newsworthy) diabetes-related projects is not great.
WLF has developed easy-to-follow Club Community Diabetes Manual and materials for several model projects. These include (at no cost) press releases for community newspapers, public service announcements, handout brochures, and more. All can easily be ordered by phone, fax, e-mail or mail. Contact WLF at 877-463-6953.
Club Community Diabetes Awareness ManualClick here to download
Diabetes Educational DVDs
Chronic Kidney DVD
Diabetic Retinopathy DVD
Dilated Eye Exam DVD
Type 1 Diabetes: Caring with Confidence DVD
Sample Projects to Consider
Connect with the Newspapers
Because of its public health significance diabetes is a hot topic, especially for editors of the community newspapers. You can provide news release information, obtained from the State, that many editors will want to use, and associate it with your Club. Also, community newspapers often look for “fillers” to plug empty spots in an edition; you’ll have diabetes public service announcements to offer.
Community Diabetes Education
You can draw attention to diabetes in several ways in your community. Participating in health fairs and setting up information tables at shopping areas and at community events are examples. You’ll have educational literature to pass out provided by the State and the American Diabetes Association, including a diabetes risk self-assessment questionnaire.
Support Medical Professionals
You can help medical professional groups, e.g., hospitals and clinics, which wish to provide a Community Diabetes Screening Program by providing assistance and promotion.