Diabetes education workshops starting Monday

TONASKET – A series of three weekly diabetes education workshops is beginning on Monday, Sept. 13 in the North Valley Hospital Board Room.

The workshops, which last from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and are free to attend, are sponsored by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the Merck & Co. who developed the Conversation Map which is used throughout the workshops.

“Each person sits around the table where the map is and the community talks about the road to control and the topics such as myths and truths of diabetes,” Leilani Goudeau, the conversation facilitator, said. “Each class has a different topic and starts with the journey for control and leads to healthy eating and habits. Each question is answered in a visual manner as well as written.”

Like in the game of Life, when each player begins with just a career and salary, or a degree, career and salary, in this conversation map, the participants all begin with uncontrolled diabetes. By answering questions and moving along the map, the participants learn information and skills that will lead to them having control over their diabetes just as the players in Life earn money and life experiences that lead to their retirement.

“Usually we have 8-12 people at teach session and at the beginning of the first one, they usually need to commit to all three sessions in order to get the whole picture,” Goudeau said. “People can pre-register right up until the date of the class as long as it’s not full but it’s on a first-come, first serve basis. Once people come to one workshop, they usually want to come to more workshops.”

These workshops are also presented in Brewster and Okanogan and also in Spanish, but future workshops beyond the current Tonasket ones have not yet been scheduled.