On Nov. 14, a team of MIT Medical clinicians marked World Diabetes Day by helping members of the community learn more about diabetes risk factors, treatment and resources.
Visitors to their table in the E25 atrium could pick up information, take a brief self-assessment to determine their risk for developing the disease, and, if they wished, speak individually with certified diabetes educator Joan Hill, registered dietitian Anna Jasonides or nurse Linda Pasciuto.
“Our primary goal was to raise awareness of diabetes risk factors,” Hill said. “But although several people stopped to take the self-assessment survey, the majority of our visitors were people who had already been diagnosed with diabetes or had family members with the disease.”
Still, Hill and her fellow clinicians counted the day as a success. “We were able to hand out information, answer questions on everything from glucometer use to sugar substitutes, and help people learn about resources,” she said.
One visitor to the table was the parent of a young man with type 1 diabetes who had recently started college. “She mentioned some of the challenges her son now faced with keeping his blood sugar under control — things like schedule changes, inconsistent meal times and prepared foods,” Pasciuto explained. “She said she wished her son had more support at his school, and she wondered what we were doing for MIT students with diabetes."
It was a timely question, Pasciuto noted. “We know we want to do more for our students with diabetes and had just begun talking about starting a College Diabetes Network chapter at MIT. It’s something we hope to move ahead with this year. Ideally, we’ll be able to reach out to students with diabetes before they arrive on campus, and then offer them peer-to-peer support while they are here.”
Visit MIT Medical’s Diabetes Management Program webpage for more information about our services. You may also contact nurse Linda Pasciutoto to learn about upcoming educational programs, or for updates on the establishment of a new College Diabetes Network chapter at the Institute.