Free Diabetes Empowerment Education Program to begin Oct. 2 at the Miami Public Library.

MIAMI – The Miami Public Library is hosting a Diabetes Empowerment Education Program as part of this year’s Health Literacy Project. Classes will meet from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Mondays beginning Oct. 2 and will run through Nov. 6.

Classes will be held in the upstairs meeting room of the library led by Whitney McGhee, Community Health Educator of Integris in Miami and Grove. Each week a different aspect of diabetes management will be discussed and include information on how to reduce complications and lead a healthier, longer life.

To register, call 918-541-2292. The program is free and open to the public.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the number of Oklahomans with diabetes has grown steadily over the last 10 years. Approximately 313,800 Oklahomans age 18+ have been diagnosed with diabetes which includes 1 in 5 Oklahomans aged 65 years and older. Our state ranked 9th highest in the nation for the prevalence of people living with diabetes in 2012. In a State of the State’s Health report published in 2014, 1 in 8 adults (12.9 percent) had diabetes in Ottawa County, a rate that was 33 percent higher than the national rate.

Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke. The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes. Diabetes is also the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.

The Health Literacy Project is a cooperative partnership between the Miami Public Library, Northeastern Tribal Health Systems, Integris Miami Hospital and Ottawa County Health Department. The Health Literacy Project is funded through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with funds from Library Services and Technology Act, a Federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.