NorthShore Health Center in Portage is hosting free classes for community members to learn how to better manage their health. One of these classes is called ‘Diabetic Diner,’ and it teaches participants to make recipes that are diabetic-friendly while answering questions related to diabetic management.
“In this class, we talk about diabetics and/or diabetes related to healthy eating,” Marysol Mendez, Health and Wellness Educator, said. “It helps people get an understanding of what they should be eating so their blood sugar doesn't spike.”
These classes are not only open for NorthShore Health Center patients but are open to the public as well. Diabetic Diner can be helpful for both type one and type two diabetics, and any family member or friend that is inclined to learn more.
Diabetic Diner is a series of classes with each class providing brand-new information. The classes do not build off of each other, so if you are unable to make it to every session, the information will still be beneficial. At the beginning of each presentation, a basic overview is provided.
“The first few slides are always those basics,” Community Impact Specialist Jennifer Eades said. “Especially if it is your first time coming to any sort of education class, we do cover the basics. If people have questions, they can get answers for those.”
The classes are set up to be very interactive. Participants are encouraged to come in with questions and ask questions that may come up throughout the session. Sessions are designed to help the community members that attend them, and more classes are scheduled to take place in the near future.
“In the new year, we are looking and seeing what our patients need, what our providers think our patients need, and then we're building the courses that we offer on that,” Eades said.
These classes are not limited to the Portage NorthShore Health Center location but will be offered at the Lake Station and Hammond locations as well, and will provide useful information to any community member that needs it.
“I love being able to speak to the public and to the patients here and build a relationship with them,” Mendez said. “To know them and help them as much as I can feels good.”
These classes allow participants to connect with professionals in order to learn more about taking care of their health. Being able to properly understand how to manage chronic illnesses through diet and remain healthy is an important skill these sessions are teaching.
“I think it's really important to raise the health literacy of our communities,” Eades said. “If they understand more, they're going to be more involved in managing their chronic illnesses, which is going to lead to better health outcomes and healthier people.”
The Diabetic Diner class takes place every third Tuesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the education room on the second floor of the Portage NorthShore Health Center. For more information about Diabetic Diner as well as other classes being offered, visit northshorehealth.org.