By Ann L. Lovejoy
For Senior Voice 

Free diabetes management classes in Anchorage


While we know diabetes can lead to complications and terrible health conditions, we also know diabetes can be managed and quality of life improved. Getting control of diabetes involves the whole person. Though managing your diabetes may feel overwhelming, the key is to work on two or three actions that lead to positive change. A combination of education and support can set you up for success.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sponsors a program called “Everyone with Diabetes Counts.” This program helps families and people with diabetes take charge of their own health.

Here in Alaska, Mountain-Pacific Quality Health supports this program. Diabetes empowerment and education courses are free for all participants. Eight weekly sessions include activities that are both fun and useful:

1. Orientation to diabetes and taking charge: Getting to know each other for support, understanding our bodies and how diabetes affects us.

2. Knowledge is power: Diabetes risk factors and how to manage risks to stay healthy.

3. Measuring and monitoring our bodies: How do our bodies tell us when we are managing or not managing our health?

4. How to play every day: The importance of moving our bodies – and tips on how to “just do it.”

5. Enjoying food: Eating to stay healthy with diabetes or to prevent diabetes – understanding food labels and easy ways to eat smarter.

6. Maintaining life quality: Staying ahead of complications; identifying and preventing things that can go wrong.

7. Taking charge of our own care and fostering a positive outlook: Learning about medications and medical care.

8. Widening the circle: Living with diabetes; you don’t need to go through it alone. Getting support from family and friends to reduce stress, stay on track and celebrate.

Mountain-Pacific invites you to change old habits and develop new ones with support from the instructors and the other members in the group.

The program will be offered in two locations:

March 10 through April 28 at Anchorage Senior Activity Center, 1300 East 9th, 10 to 11:30 am. The Senior Center offers a diabetic lunch after each session.

April 2 through May 21 at Alaska Family Medicine Clinic, 1201 E. 36th, 8 a.m. to noon.

Class sizes are small to assure quality. Please register for either program by contacting Ann Lovejoy at or Cathy Colwell at If you have questions or want more information about this workshop, please call Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, 907-561-3202.

Ann Lovejoy is the Population Health Project Manager at Mountain-Pacific Quality Health in Anchorage.


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