Diabetes is a costly disease, in terms of people's health and well-being and in actual dollars spent on treatment, medications and lost days at work and school. San Joaquín County annually has among the worst death rates from diabetes among all 58 California counties.
In an attempt to make its estimated 60,000 residents with diabetes aware of the many local resources available to help them deal with the disease, a dozen billboards in English and Spanish have been posted around the county directing readers to the UniteForDiabetesSJC.org website. The billboards implore those affected by diabetes to 'Take Your First Step.'
The website has information on numerous free classes and programs that provide education and training on preventing diabetes, managing the disease, controlling its side effects, and links to more resources, including special events and finding a physician.
For questions on how to navigate the website or find a class, residents may call Vanessa Armendariz, community project manager at the San Joaquin Medical Society, at (209) 952-5299.
The billboards came about through the efforts of the Diabetes Work Group, a subcommittee of San Joaquin County Public Health's Obesity and Chronic Disease Prevention Task Force. Funding was provided through a grant from Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Programs Division-Central Valley Area.
Bus posters and radio ads will be part of the next phase of directing residents to the UniteForDiabetesSJC.org website.