Diabetes study coming

The University of Kentucky’s Faith Moves Mountains (FMM) initiative is turning its attention to the problem of diabetes in the region, with a diabetes study to include screening events in Harlan County.

Project Manager Tiffany Scott shed some light on the project.

“Faith Moves Mountains has housed numerous research studies over the years…the most recent project is a diabetic research project which we’ve named Appalachians In Control (AIC),” Scott said.

Scott pointed out the study includes all counties in the region, including Harlan and Bell counties.

According to a press release, “FMM received a $3.1 million grant from the National Institute of Health to continue their work. With a focus on Diabetes, researchers intend to reduce adverse outcomes by educating people with type 2 diabetes about self-management and training community-based facilitators to help coordinate health care services.”

Scott pointed out FMM is geared to partner with local churches.

“FMM is designed to work with churches and other organizations in eastern Kentucky,” Scott said. “We have churches in every area. Even if people don’t attend church, they trust the information that comes out of those churches.”

Scott said churches are utilized as sites to collect information.

“We’re looking for churches in eastern Kentucky…who are interested in partnering up with us,” Scott said. “What that partnership would entail is we would come out to the church and speak to the congregation about the project.”

Scott said if the church agrees, FMM returns to the church and conducts a health screening event.

“At the health screening event, we offer free A1C testing…we do height, weight, blood pressure checks, we do a waist circumference measurement and a body mass index. What we’re looking for are people eligible for the study.”

Scott said those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are automatically eligible, and those who have a A1C test showing 6.5 or higher are also eligible. Those eligible are asked to participate in the study.

“If you say yes, then an interviewer will schedule a time to speak with you,” Scott said. “It will be about an hour-long interview…to see what you know about diabetes.”

Scott said those interviewed will be paid $35.

“Then, we go back to that church or organization and teach classes one night a week for six weeks,” Scott said. “After the intervention phase is over in three months, we’ll call again and ask participants to retest the A1C. So we’ll repeat the health screening and interview and pay another $35. We do those interviews four times, so the participants will be paid $35 four different times. We also compensate the church or organization up to $500 for allowing us to use their space.”

Any church or organization wishing to partner with FMM for the program should contact Scott at 606-505-7717, 606-633-3339 or via email at tiffany.scott@uky.edu.

The release additionally states “if you or someone you love is diabetic or if you would like to be screened for project eligibility, please attend one of our upcoming Health Screening Events or call the FMM office at 606-633-3339 to learn more.”

Upcoming screening events include:

• Lynch Church of God in Lynch, at noon on Sept. 9;

• Harlan Christian Church in Harlan, on Sept. 30 at noon.