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Community-focused interventions address diabetes and chronic disease in rural communities

Huntington, W.Va. – During a two-day virtual conference earlier this month, the Appalachian Diabetes Network (ADN) brought together more than three dozen participants from eight states to celebrate community interventions that address diabetes and chronic disease.

“Despite an ongoing pandemic, our coalitions have created innovative approaches to continue to make an impact in their rural communities making this year’s conference more important than ever,” said Deborah Koester, Ph.D., program director of Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine’s division of community health.

Throughout the pandemic, many of the coalitions have continued to offer training in evidence-based chronic disease management programs, engage their communities in physical activity and healthy eating programs and promote health screenings. They have also transitioned approaches to engaging their communities safely, offering virtual diabetes self-management classes, virtual walkathons, community walking challenges, Walk With Ease programs and virtual Gentle Yoga classes.

Established more than 20 years ago under the direction of Dr. Richard Crespo, the Appalachian Diabetes Network is a federal, state and community partnership funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Appalachian Regional Commission.  A team in the School of Medicine’s division of community health provides direct technical assistance and training to more than 70 rural health/diabetes coalitions across an eight state region of Appalachia.

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PHOTO CAPTION:  CDC recognized “Diabetes Belt” and Appalachian Diabetes Control and Translation Project Coalitions

PHOTO CREDIT:  CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/programs/appalachian.html)


Media Contact: Michele McKnight, Community and Media Relations Coordinator, School of Medicine, 304-691-1713


Date Posted: Monday, April 19, 2021