Diabetes prevention summit

Tuba City Regional Health Care Corp.'s summit in Page draws 211 participants from health & government sectors

Photo courtesy of TCRHCC
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., (second from left) First Lady Vikki Shirley (third from left), Hopi Chairman Ivan Sidney (right) and the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation Diabetes Prevention Program Staff.

Photo courtesy of TCRHCC Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., (second from left) First Lady Vikki Shirley (third from left), Hopi Chairman Ivan Sidney (right) and the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation Diabetes Prevention Program Staff.

PAGE -- If numbers are any indication, the Diabetes Prevention Summit Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation hosted March 28-29 at the Marriott Courtyard in Page was certainly a success.

Designed for health professionals, the prevention summit attracted 211 attendees including tribal dignitaries such as Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., Navajo Nation First Lady Vikki Shirley, Hopi Tribal Chairman Ivan Sidney and former San Juan Paiute President Johnny Lehi.

Elvelina Maho, TCRHCC Diabetes Prevention Program coordinator, explained that last year the TC hospital was one of 36 sites throughout Indian Country to receive a five-year grant award from the Indian Health Service Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention.

"By participating in this national demonstration program, we hope to prove that prevention is where the dollars are needed," Maho said.

She went on to describe Lifestyle Balance a 10-week class that targets behavioral change in terms of exercise and nutrition -- already initiated at Kaibeto, Coppermine and Bodaway/Gap.

Cameron, Coalmine, Tuba City, LeChee and Tonalea will be added in the future as well as Polacca and Moencopi Village.

Joseph Engelken, TCRHCC CEO, said it was really gratifying to see the unifying affect of the summit.

"Diabetes is such a pandemic that affects all tribal nations, but is so responsive to weight control and diet," Engelken said. "It brought together the Navajo Nation President, the Hopi Tribal Chairman and the San Juan Paiutes, in such a spirit of cooperation to join forces to combat this disease."

He said TCRHHC is in the second year of its grant cycle. The total grant amount was $2 million.

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