Serving the Underserved, Grace Medical Presses on in West Orlando
Grace Medical Home nurse tests a participant for diabetes at the "How to Prevent Diabetes" session, Orlando West Ministries, 3005 Powers Drive, Orlando. April 17, 2012 (Photo: WONO)
Katie Matchette delivers in-depth education on diabetes to attendees, April 17, 2012 (Photo: WONO)
A participant gets tested for diabetes, Orlando West Ministries, April 17, 2012 (Photo: WONO)
Participants receive in-depth education on diabetes prevention, Orlando West Ministries, April 17, 2012 (Photo: WONO)
Grace Medical Home tests participants for diabetes, Orlando West Ministries, April 17, 2012 (Photo: WONO)
Katie Matchette, RN, BSN, Grace Medical Home delivers education on diabetes prevention and management, Orlando West Ministries, 3005 Powers Drive, Orlando. April 17, 2012 (Photo: WONO)
Attendees stand on line waiting to be tested for diabetes, Orlando West Ministries, 3005 Powers Drive, Orlando. April 17, 2012 (Photo: WONO)
Partial view of Orlando West Ministries, 3005 West Powers Drive, Orlando. April 17, 2012 (Photo: WONO)
More than 150 people in the Pine Hills community showed up at Orlando West Ministries Tuesday night to learn how to prevent and manage diabetes and receive free health testing for a disease which is the seventh leading cause of death.
Hosted by Grace Medical Home, the only privately-funded medical home for the low-income and uninsured in Orange County, and United Way, attendees listened with wrapped attention to Katie Matchette, a registered nurse at the medical facility, distill information on a range of topics. These included: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Gestational diabetes, symptoms, prevention, blood glucose, treatment, recipes and meal plans, among others.
Matchette explained that Tuesday’s session was the fourth in a series of events in the Pine Hills community aimed at providing in-depth education, diabetic counseling and free health screenings to people that are 200 percent below the poverty level and have no health insurance.
The program was made possible through grant resources from the Heart of Florida United Way. Similar sessions have taken place at other area churches, including Empowerment Ministries, Heart of Mercy and the Worship Center.
“The neet thing is, people who are pre-diabetic and diabetic and don’t have health insurance become eligible for enrollment in Grace Medical Home and will start receiving primary care, as well as specialty care if they need it,” said Matchette.
In addition to free health screenings, education and diabetic counseling, parents in need of child care received it and dinner was provided to all those in attendance.
Heart of Florida United Way Vice President Marketing & Communications, Michael Lewellen explained that Grace Medical Home’s focus aligns very much with his organization’s priorities.
“This particular event and what Grace Medical Home does, focuses on a priority area for United Way,” he said. “And that’s building safe communities though education, but also focusing on healthy families and children. So, by educating the community and testing for diabetes–it’s really in sync with what United Way is doing.”
Although more than sixty minutes had elapsed since the educational aspect of the program had commenced, Matchette continued to have the attention of her audience, as she posed questions and provided give-aways, gift cards and more to those who offered up the correct answers.
“What’s awesome about this program is, we are able to do a six-month follow-up with those that have pre-diabetes because it’s a life style change,” she said. “It’s not a diet, it’s not a quick fix, it’s not a pill you are going to take. Rather, it’s teaching people and educating them about what it is they need to change.”
Matchette said, Grace Medical hopes to deliver these sessions quarterly, perhaps even monthly, if there is a perceived need for such health care services.
“I learned so much more than I knew about diabetes and how to prevent it,” said Veronica, one of those who attended Tuesday’s night’s program. “I feel better informed about how to go about preparing my diet.”
For now, Grace Medical Home will continue to provide healthcare to the underserved in a Christ-centered atmosphere, said an energetic and passionate Matchette.
The “How to Prevent Diabetes” session was also made possible by Pastor R. Keith Hicks who threw open the doors of Orlando West Ministries, located at 3005 Powers Drive, for the staging of the event.