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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014

News

West Penn Allegheny Health System Turns (Blue) Spotlight on Devastation of Diabetes

Friday, November 9th, 2012

West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) physicians and diabetes educators will paint the town blue to help shed light on the epidemic of diabetes.

In an effort to increase global awareness about diabetes, the World Health Organization and International Diabetes Federation designated Nov. 14 as World Diabetes Day. Since 2007, these entities have urged the world to light buildings blue to attract attention to the impact of diabetes across the globe.

Locally, WPAHS representatives will take part in a ceremony with Pittsburgh City Council on November 13 to officially proclaim November 14 World Diabetes Day in Pittsburgh. Beginning the 13th through the end of the month, WPAHS will light the South Tower of Allegheny General Hospital blue in acknowledgement of the toll that diabetes takes in our region and the world.

“There’s much that can be done to prevent and manage diabetes,” said Patricia Bononi, MD, medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center affiliates at West Penn Allegheny Health System. “We hope to educate the public about the important roles that nutrition and exercise play in maintaining good health and encourage people to be screened so that they can avoid the health complications caused by diabetes.”

Dr. Bononi is part of a multidisciplinary diabetes awareness committee within WPAHS.

In addition to turning Allegheny General Hospital’s (AGH) highest point blue, the committee will offer free diabetes risk assessments outside the cafeterias at AGH, West Penn, and Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights and Forbes Hospital in Monroeville from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 14. Healthy “blue light specials” will be available for lunch that day in the AGH and West Penn cafeterias and free copies of diabetes-friendly recipes will be offered to patrons.

WPAHS will begin gearing up for World Diabetes Day this weekend at the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Expo. WPAHS is a major sponsor of the 2012 Diabetes Expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. WPAHS medical professionals will present informative lectures this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring talks on foot care, diabetes nutrition, eye care and wound care.

It is estimated that more than 349 million people in the world have diabetes. Approximately 1 in 3 U.S. citizens born after 2000 will be affected by diabetes during their lifetimes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death among Americans. Each year, more than 200,000 deaths are reported as being caused by diabetes or its complications.

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