Providence, RI — Diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate in the United States — which is why Healthcentric Advisors in partnership with founder Representative Grace Diaz and many local partners are proud to recognize Rhode Island World Diabetes Day, November 3, 2018. Hosted at the Warwick Mall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the annual event is an opportunity to increase awareness about diabetes as a potentially devastating disease. But it ultimately seeks to empower people to manage their own health while living with diabetes and pre-diabetes.

This year we’re particularly excited to have special guest speaker NFL Football Champion and Novo Nordisk Patient Ambassador, Kendall Simmons, there to share his own experience living with diabetes as an athlete.

“World Diabetes Day is an opportunity to increase awareness of the disease and stand in solidarity with those impacted by it. I’ve been living with diabetes for more than ten years, and couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, good friends, and dedicated health care providers. We stand together against this disease. And this year, I am pleased to recognize World Diabetes Day in Rhode Island,” said Simmons.

Additionally, Rhode Island World Diabetes Day founder Representative Grace Diaz will present the Grace Diaz Blue Light Award to recognize an individual or organization who has been a role model on diabetes awareness. The free, family-friendly event will also feature entertainment, health resources, and education on how to stay well.

“Our event this year will be better than ever because we’ve been able to expand our reach in the community,” said Brenda Jenkins, Senior Program Administrator at Healthcentric Advisors and World Diabetes Day chair, “between hosting Rhode Island World Diabetes Day at the Warwick Mall and having the support of so many partners we’re proud to be able to increase awareness about diabetes– a massive public health issue in our state.”

 

Chances are you know somone impacted by diabetes. Nationwide, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Locally, Rhode Island World Diabetes Day shines a light on the more than 100,00 people, living with diabetes in Rhode Island. Of these, an estimated 27,000 have diabetes but don’t know it yet, greatly increasing their health risk. Complications of unmanaged diabetes can include heart disease, stroke, lower limb amputations, end-stage kidney disease, blindness—even death. But it’s not just the human impact that takes its toll on our community it’s also financial: an estimated $1.1 billion is spent on diabetes each year in Rhode Island.

Activities will feature free flu shots, diabetes, blood pressure screenings by Lifespan and eye exam screening by the West Warwick Lions Club. We’ll have 20 vendor tables featuring community partners from all over Rhode Island. The event will be packed with activities for children like face-painting, crafts, and an exhibit with Roger Williams Zoo.

Rhode Island World Diabetes Day launched through the Rhode Island Department of Health in November 2012. The event’s aim is to be a vehicle for raising awareness about diabetes and its local impact. The planning committee exemplifies the strong collaboration between diverse community organizations, state government officials, health entities, and community residents who are committed to decreasing the prevalence of diabetes in Rhode Island.