Statewide project screens 28,000 for diabetes

Statewide project screens 28,000 for diabetes A statewide project has screened 28,000 South Dakotans for diabetes since July, and organizers had high hopes to reach even more as November's American Diabetes Month approached.

The first Governor's Diabetes Screening Project, organized in the spring of 2001, screened more than 31,000 people for diabetes and found 8 percent with high blood glucose.

"Those numbers were high enough to convince us that there were still South Dakotans out there who were at risk for diabetes and didn't know it," said Secretary of Health Doneen Hollingsworth. "That's why we decided to offer a second statewide screening this year and to look for new ways to bring it to the people who needed it."

To make it as convenient as possible to get screened, the Department of Health and other organizers set up clinics at county fairs, rodeos, arts festivals, and other large-scale community events over the summer. Screening was even offered during the Sturgis Rally and Races and more than 1,800 people took advantage of the opportunity.

Now that the summer event season is over, the department and its partners are looking at other ways to make screening available.

For example, in partnership with the South Dakota Pharmacists Association, more than 30 pharmacies across the state offered screening the week of Oct. 21-25, which was National Pharmacists Week.

Pharmacies offering diabetes screening during National Pharmacists Week included Choice Pharmacy and Hy-Vee Pharmacy of Vermillion.

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