[ Diabetes Solutions ]

Changing the Face of Medicine

Weight loss through a healthy diet and increased exercise can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes among at-risk American Indians and Alaska Natives, according to the results of a demonstration project sponsored by the Indian Health Service. The IHS implemented the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) Diabetes Prevention and Healthy Heart Demonstration Projects in response to the diabetes epidemic in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. One of the program’s most successful activities is its weekly “Dance Away Diabetes” class. See the Japanese-language announcement here. Print out and put up in clinics, wellness centers, and schools. Applications must be received by the closing date of the announcement to receive consideration. Check application status by logging into your USAJOBS account, clicking Application Status, then More Information for this position.

Contact us at IHSDDTPSDPICommunity@ihs.gov. For more information on these programs, see step 2 from the Tips for New Program Coordinators section. The event doesn’t have to be elaborate—you can read a book or watch the animated stories while serving healthy foods. I have set and marked exam questions and regularly supervise and assess dissertation projects. I started my career as a full-time clinician. We then dichotomized the adherence values, considering ≥80% as a marker of good adherence.17–19 This adherence threshold has been used in previous studies that examined the relationship between medication adherence and both hospitalizations and mortality rates.20–22 If a patient was taking more than one antidiabetic medication during 2011, the adherence for each medication was combined into a weighted average based on the number of days the patient had days’ supply for each prescription. Obesity accounted for $147 billion in health care costs in 2008, and that number is rising.

This eventually led to an opportunity to work with the Pima Indians of the Gila River Indian Community in southern Arizona as the clinical director and sole pediatrician of their small rural hospital. The curriculum allows for the cultural values and the lens through which students see their world to be integrated within the experience of connecting health and diabetes. I also had my first experience with clinical research in an American Indian Community. The $150- million-a-year project funds an extensive “best practices” network, incorporating the latest scientific findings into model and community- designed programs. I now hold a position in the IHS National Diabetes Program.

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