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Apr 01 2014

NYIT Tackles Type 2 Diabetes with Surveys and Prevention Workshop

Old Westbury, N.Y  (April 1, 2014) – More than 900 New York Institute of Technology faculty, staff, and students took a diabetes survey last week as the university participated in a national alert day designed to help people discover their risk for developing the disease.
 
The School of Health Professions will hold a diabetes prevention workshop on Thursday, April 3 in Anna Rubin Hall to review risk factors and ways to prevent Type 2 diabetes, the disease’s most common form, in which the body does not produce enough insulin. Dr. Lorraine Mongiello, a dietitian, certified diabetes educator and assistant professor of interdisciplinary health sciences, will lead the workshop, which begins at 12:30 in Room 306.
 
Billed as a “wake-up call” to help people discover if they are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes, about 90 physician assistant and health sciences students manned tables throughout the Old Westbury campus to administer surveys last week. The surveys asked questions about weight, age, family history, and other potential risks. If the survey revealed an increased risk, students encouraged test-takers to speak with their health providers.
 
“Everyone knows someone with diabetes,” said Danielle Carannante, a health sciences major who administered surveys at the Riland Café. “It’s a growing problem. But the takeaway is, even if you have a family history, you can always do something about it.”
 
About 80 million adults have what is known as “prediabetes,” which puts them at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. However, the diagnosis often is made long after the disease’s onset. Health professionals know that early diagnosis can lead to successful treatment and prevent the most deadly complications, such heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, or amputation. 
 
Mongiello said the campus-wide survey was a valuable experience for health professions students.
 
“They were able to participate in a nation-wide health intervention and had the opportunity to interact with people and apply what they have learned in the classroom,” she said. “My students were surprised that many people refused to take the risk assessment. I think this may be the most valuable lesson of the day for future health care professional: not everyone is willing or ready to hear health messages or make lifestyle changes. Based on their experiences I will ask the students to develop strategies for innovative and effective public health interventions and programs.”
 
Once the survey results are tabulated, Mongiello and her colleagues will assess the health status of the NYIT community as a whole and determine the characteristics of those groups at risk for diabetes and other chronic disease. This study will be a first step in the development of health promotion programs and policies suitable for colleges and universities.
 
“As a school of health professions we feel it is important to make a strong commitment to primary prevention of type 2 diabetes by increasing awareness of pre-diabetes and actively engaging individuals in preventative behaviors like weight loss, physical activity and healthful eating,” Mongiello said. “You need to go to the people, alert them to a potential problem – even if it does not make a difference the first time, it may make a difference the second or third time someone tells them they are at risk,” she said. 
 
About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 13,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
 
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 95,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit nyit.edu.
 
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