St. Louis Public Library Hosts Seminar on Diabetes: What’s New, What Works, and How It Can Be Prevented

By Kara Krekeler, St. Louis Public Library, Science and Technology Librarian

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 29 million Americans have diabetes. What’s even more startling is that, of those, more than 8 million don’t know they have it.

To help raise awareness about the disease, the St. Louis Public Library and its partners
present Diabetes: What’s New, What Works, and How Can I Prevent It? The program takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22, at Central Library, 1301 Olive Street. The seminar features Certified Diabetes Educator Jennifer Markee and Pharmacist Amy Drew, who discuss this increasingly prevalent disease and the ways in which it can be treated and managed.

A consultant for the St. Louis Diabetes Coalition and the OASIS Institute, Markee is a medical social worker and a certified diabetes educator through the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Drew is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and a practicing pharmacist at the Ambulatory Clinic at Mercy Clinic Family Medicine.

Markee said, “In the last 10 to 15 years, there has been such an increase in the diagnosis of diabetes. It’s becoming more pervasive. One out of five Americans has diabetes so this is important for people to look at and not sweep under the rug.”

A diabetes diagnosis often comes with a dose of guilt, Markee stated, that as people often automatically assume that they did something wrong to deserve the diagnosis. However, diabetes is part lifestyle and part hereditary. “It becomes this elephant in the room, and people think it’s not valid enough to talk about in conversation,” she said.

At the July 22 event, Markee said she hopes to remove some of that stigma and to help people learn about the symptoms and warning signs of diabetes, as well as how it is diagnosed, and help them get started on developing a support system to learn more about this chronic disease. She and Drew will also discuss some of the ways that diabetes can be controlled, including exercise habits and reading nutrition labels.

Diabetes: What’s New, What Works, and How Can I Prevent It? is the third presentation in Can I Catch That?, the St. Louis Public Library’s 2014 Consumer Health Information Speaker Series. The fourth presentation, See No Evil, Speak No Evil: The Story Your Eyes and Mouth Tell About Your Health, takes place on Tuesday, October 28, at Central Library. For more information on this series and other health events at the Library, call 314.539.0390 or visit the Library’s consumer health blog, The Good Health Blog Spot, at slplconsumerhealth.blogspot.com.