OSWEGO, NY – ARISE staff members Jim Karasek and Shane Hoey are passionate about helping people learn how to manage their diabetes.
It is this passion that Recognizing Oswego County looks for when it selects its Community Champion each month.
“Community Champions are those that go above and beyond for a cause that they believe in. They touch lives, raise spirits and make our community a better place,” said ROC co-chair Brandon Morey.
According to Hoey, “One in 10 adults in Oswego County are diabetic. In addition, hospitalization and mortality rates due to diabetes are higher here than other counties in upstate New York. Uncontrolled, diabetes can cause debilitating side effects of the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nervous system. Self-management is really key to preventing serious complications related to the disease.”
In response to the high need they saw in the community Karasek and Hoey volunteered to attend training at the University of Albany to become Certified Peer Leaders for the Diabetes Self-Management Program and have been offering classes since 2014.
“This is a fun class to take,” said Karasek. “It’s not us telling people what to do. It’s about us helping people to set up their own plans and helping them be able to talk to their doctors and caregivers better. We focus on strategies to enable participants to manage their diabetes and medications and increase their physical activity levels.”
The class meets once a week for 2.5 hours for six weeks.
The class is free and participants get a free book, CD and a healthy snack each week.
Spouses and caregivers can also attend to help support a loved one with diabetes.
“Our goal is an improved quality of life for those living with diabetes,” said Karasek.
Hoey said, “Each session is designed to include a great deal of interactive activities where the group can share their struggles and challenges in a judgement-free environment. Class participants build a social network and learn from each other, finding that they are facing many of the same types of challenges.”
Karasek and Hoey are available to provide classes at sites around the county.
They are willing to travel so participants don’t have to.
For more information, call 342-4088.
Recognizing Oswego County focuses on the positive efforts that are being made in the community.
Each month ROC uses this recognition effort as a platform for emphasizing the wonderful work that is happening in Oswego County to promote the health and wellness of children, families and adults.
A theme is selected each month and nominations for Community Champions are solicited.
ROC members include representatives from a broad range of community organizations as well as individual community members.
New members are welcome.
Monthly meetings are held from 8-9:15 a.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union, 90 E. Bridge St.
For more information check out “Recognizing Oswego County-ROC” Facebook page or contact [email protected]